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Xstatt of Dr. S •Douglas 














Together with a List of recent Scientific Publications ; a Classified list 

of Patents ; Obituaries of Eminent Scientific Men ; an Index 

of important Papers in Scientific Journals, Keports, &c. 







The Annual of Scientific Discoyert is designed for all those 
who desire to keep pace with the advancement of Science and Art. 
The great and daily increasing number of discoveries in the different 
departments of science is such, and the announcement of them is scat- 
tered through such a multitude of secular and scientific publications, 
that it is very difficult for any one .to obtain a satisfactory survey of 
them, even had he access to all these publications. But the Scientific 
Journals, especially those of Europe, besides being many of them in 
foreign languages, have a very limited circulation in this country, and 
are therefore accessible to but very few. It is evident, then, that an 
annual publication, giving a complete and condensed view of the 
progress of discovery in every branch of Science and Art, being, in 
fact, ths Spirit of the Scientific Journals of the year, systematically 
arranged, e^o as to present at one view all the new discoveries, useful 
inventions, and improved processes of the past year, must be a most 
acceptable volume to every one, and greatly facilitate the diffusion of 

uaefiil knowledge. Ai thn woric wiU be inoed annually, the reading 
public may eaailj and promptly poisesB themseWes of the moat im- 
portant facts diecovered or announced in these departments, from year 
to year. 

The editors are so situated as to have access to all the scientific 
publications of America, Great Britain, France, and Germany ; and 
have also received, for the present volume, the approbation as well 
as the counsel and personal contributions of many of the ablest scien- 
tific men in this country, among whom are Profkssors Aoassiz, 
HoRsroRD, and Wtman, of Harvard University, and they have the 
promise in future, from many scientific gentlemen, of articles not pre- 
viously published elsewhere. They have not confined themselves to 
an examination of Scientific Journals and Reports, but have drawn 
from every source which furnished any thing of scientific interest. 
For those who have occasion for still further researches, they have 
furnished a copious Index to the scientific articles in the American 
and European Journals ; and, moreover, they have prepared a list of 
all books pertaining to Science which have appeared originally, or by 
republication, in the United States, daring the year. A classified List 
of Patents, and brief obituaries of men distinguished in Science or 
Art, who have recently died, render the work still more complete. 
They have also taken great pains to make the General Index to the 
whole as full and correct as possible. 

It will thus be seen, that the plan of .the '* Annual of Scientific 

Discovert *' is well designed to make it what it purports to be, a sub' 

KStaniial summary of ^« discoveries in Science und Art ; and no pains 

have been spared on the part of the editors to fulfil the design, and 

reader it worthy of patronage. 

As the work is not intended for scientific men exclusively, but to 
meet the wants of the general reader, it has been the aim of the edi- 
tors that the articles should be brief and intelligible to all ; and to give 
aothenticity, the source firom whence the information is derived is 
generally stated. Although they hav« used all diligence to reader 
this first issue as complete as possible, in its desiga and ezecvtioD, yet 
they hope that experience, and the promised aid and cooperation fifon 
the many gentlemen interested in its success, will enable them ib fii- 
tare to improve both on the plan and the details. 

The work in manuscript has been submitted to several distiogaiebed 
gentlemen, to judge of its merits, and they have given their unqaalt^ 
fied approbation of the plan and its ezecutieo. We snbjcHB extracta 
from letters received firom some of these gentlemen. 






From the Prof, of Zoology and Geology, Cawhridge. 
The publication of annual reports giving short abstracts of the im- 
portant discoveries and improvements made in the different branches 
of the useful arts, and embracing also an account of the general prog- 
ress of Science, has proved so eminently useful^ that wherever cir- 
cumstances have favored such publications, they have been found 
equally beneficial to those engaged in scientific pursuits, and to the 
community at large. Such reports have, for a considerable period, ap- 
peared in many parts of Europe, under various titles, either upon spe- 
cial branches of science, or covering its whole ground; but no similar 
work has, I believe, hitherto made its appearance in this country. 
An undertaking like the Annual of Scientific Discovery, which is in- 
tended to give, from year to year, an abstract of the progress of Sci- 
ence and Art, cannot fidl to be highly acceptable in this country, while 
it will at the same time contribute to elevate the standard of American 
activity and research abroad, where the proceedings of scientific men 
on this side of the Atlantic are not generally so well known as they 
ought to be. It therefore gives me great pleasure to say, that in my 
opinion the editors of the present work, one of whom, as a member of 
the Lawrence Scientific School, at Cambridge, has been under my 
personal instruction, are fully qualified to execute the difiicult task of 
preparing such an abstract with credit, both to themselves and to the 
country. Having examined in manuscript a considerable proportion 
of the first volume, I can but highly recommend it. As it is designed 
to meet a want extensively felt, I hope its reception will be such, that 
the editors may be encouraged to continue it annually. 


From the Prof, of Chemistry in the Latorenee ScienHfie School, 

I have examined, somewhat in detail, the manuscript of the Annual 
of Scientific Discovery, and take great pleasure in bearing testimony to 
the fidelity with which the work has been prepared. The editors, one 
of whom has prosecuted experimental chemistry in my laboratory with 
the highest success, are eminently qualified to undertake such a work. 

As a compendium of the new and useful truths contributed to the 
stock of human knowledge during the past year, presented in a form 
acceptable to the general reader, and at the same time so systematic 
and complete, as to be of great service to the student of science, it 
will be an honor to our country, and cannot fail to be appreciated and 
liberally patronized by a discerning public. e. N. HOBSFOfiD. 


From tke Prof, of Comparative Anatomy, Harvard Ufuvornty. 

I bare examined the zoological portion of the Annual of Scientific 
Diecorerjr, which contains a faithful account of the progreas recently 
made in this department of natural science. It is a work of great 
ralue in all its departments, containing, as it does, a record of the va- 
rious discoTeries ma during the past year. 


From Doctor Gotdd, BoaUm. 

Having seen the Prospectus of the ^ Annual of Scientific Discor- 
ery," and having also glanced at a considerable portion of the manu- 
script, I am confident that a work on the plan proposed will be of the 
highest value to the community ; and I am pleased that it has been 
undertaken. The American mind is eminently inventive, and, of 
course, specially interested in the progress of discovery. This work 
will bring within a convenient compass the very infi>rmation wanted. 
My acquaintance with the editors and the facilities they enjoy gives 
assurance that the work will be well digested, and will become increas- 
ingly interesting and valuable firom year to year. 


From Lieut. Maury ^ U. S, Jfavy. 

Jfational Observatory, WaskingUm. 
Gentlemeli, — 

Such a work as you propose to publish and make the " Annual of 
Scientific Discovery," is a desideratum. It will be usefiil and valu- 
able to all classes, and I shall be glad to see it make its appearance. 

Bespectfully yours, 


The work tnlZ hereafter be published annually on the first of 
March, and wUl form a handsome duodecimo volume^ of about 360 
pages ^ with an engraved likeness of some distinguished man of science. 
Price, ^ 1.00, paper ^ or in substantial cloth bindings f^ 1.25. 

On the receipt of $1.00 the publishers Vfill forward a copy in paper 
covers, by mail, post paid. 


69 Washington Strekt, Boston. 

• ■•■ mm 

.£ * 

1 1 


69 WASHiKOToir Stbsxt. 
























59 Washington Street. 


Eatared according to Act of Congress, In the year 1860, by 

OouLD, Kbndall, and Lincouii 

in tiie Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetu. 






The idea of preparing the present work was first suggest- 
ed by the examination of similar works, which have been 
published in Europe for several years past. We believed that • 
such a work could not fail to be useful to many persons, by 
\ enabling them to see at a glance what has been accomplished 
^ during the past year, and thus showing them in what direction 
^ they can most profitably apply their labors. The language of 
Bacon concerning one branch of science applies with equal 
^ force to all its branches : — " Nothing is of greater ef&cacy 
/ in procuring a stock of new and useful inventions, than to 
^ have the experiments of numerous mechanic arts known to a 
^ single person or to a few, who might mutually improve each 
other by conversation ; so that by this translation of experi- 
ments, arts might mutually warm and light up each other, as 
it were, by an intermingling of rays." 

In the preparation of the Annual, nothing has been insert- 
ed except upon good authority. While many of the articles 
have not been previously in print, many others have been 
furnished directly to us by their authors, but have also been 
published elsewhere. In the exercise of a proper -discretion, 
we have rejected some articles which it would perhaps have 
been well to retain ; but the Umits assigned to the work 
compelled us to omit much that we at first intended to in- 
clude. We have, however, inserted nearly all that is at 
once new and important which is to be found in the stand- 


Viii * PREFACE. 

ard scientific publications of America, Great Britain, France, 
and Germany. 

Although great care has been bestowed upon every por- 
tion of the work, it would be presumptuous for us to hope 
that we have been entirely successful in our earnest en- 
deavours to render the Annual perfectly accurate, and we 
must plead, in excuse for any errors which may be detected, 
the peculiar difficulties necessarily attending the preparation 
of the jirti volume of a work of this nature. 

We must not neglect this opportunity of acknowledging 
the aid we have leceived from many distinguished gentle- 
men, but especially from Professors Agassiz, Horsford^ and 
•Wyman, and Dr. A. A. Gould, whose counsel and asmst* 
ance have greatly aided us in our labors. To Messrs. Fol* 
som and Fairbanks, of the Boston Athenseum, and Messrs. 
Harris and Abbott, of the library of Harvard College, we 
are indebted for many facilities. 

Should this our first volume receive the approbation ef the 
public the work will be continued annually; and while we 
hope herealler to be free from some' embarrassments which 
have prevented us from making it as complete as we could 
desire, the experience already gained and the aid promised 
for the future will, we believe, enable ns to render the suc- 
ceeding volumes more satis&ctofy both to the public and 

We shall be most happy to receive original communica- 
tions relating to new inventions or discoveries, for insertion 

in the next volume. 



Cambridos, March 1, 1850. 


{See the Frontispiece.) 

Pbofbssor Aqassiz is a native of Svritzerland, and was bom in tlie Canton of Friburg, 
in tlie town of Mottier, on the 28th of May, 1807. His jtuicestors were of French origin, 
and were among those Protestants whom the revocation of the Edict of Nantes obliged to 
leaFe France. 

The father of Agassiz was a Protestant minister, and it was expected that his son, fol- 
lowing the example of his anc^rtors, would devote himself to the serrico of the Church. 
But Natural History, which from an early age strongly arrested his attention, had, oa the 
completion of his studies at sclux)l, gained so great an ascendency, that he chose the pro- 
fession of medicine, as ofiering the best opportunities for prosecuting his fevorite pur- 
suits. He commenced the study of his profession at the Academy of Zurich, whence he 
went to the University of Heidelberg, where he devoted himself especially to the study 
of anatomy, under the direction of the celebcated Professor Tiedemann. At the Univer- 
sity he was noted, not only for assiduity in study, but for the rare talent of managing 
with equal dexterity the rapier and the scalpeL From Heidelberg he went to the Uni* 
rersity of Munich, where he remained four years. Before this Agassiz had commenced 
lecturing to his fellow-students, and his already extensive knowledge of Natural History 
soon attracted the notice of scientific men and his instructors. So great was hus reputa- 
tion, that he was employed by Martins to prepare the ichthyological department of the 
Natural History of Brazil, ji work which gained him great credit. 

At this period, his parents, disliking his exclusive devotion to science, withheld his al- 
lowance ; but his enthusiasm procured him advances from Cotta, a bookseller. Having, 
however, gained the degrees of Doctor of Medicine and Philosophy, he went to Viennai 
where he applied himself to the study of existing and fossil fishes. A friend having lent 
him some money, he visited Paris, and here gained the firiendship of Cuvier and Hum- 
boldt, with the former of whom he remained until his death, in 1832. 

Having returned to Switzerland, he was appointed Professor of Natural History in the 
University of Neufchatel, a place which he filled until his departure for the United 
States. In 1833 6e commenced the publication of his great work, Poisgona Fosailea, in 
five volumes, with an atlas of about four hundred folio plates, and comprising descrip- 
tions and figures of nearly a thousand species of fossil fislies. This work gained for him 
the respect of the scientific world, and at the age of thirty-four Agassiz was a member 


of erery ■clellUfie muAemj of Europe. The degree of Doctor of Lewe wee conferred 
upon him bj the Unirersitiee of Edinbu^h and Dublin, end he wae aleo admitted to the 
freedom of thoee citieo. The Order of Knight of the Bed Eagle of Pruseia wae cooferred 
upon him bj the king of Pruaeia. 

Since 1833 hie pubUcallone hare been rerj numeroua. Among them are worka on the 
Echinoderma and on the Foeail MoUuaka of the Jura, a German traoalation of Buckland'a 
Geology, with copioua notee, and fata Fresh-water Fiahes of Europe. The Nomendaior 
Zo6logieu9, publiahed 8om« jam eince, and the BibUographU OiniraUi d*Hiatoin 
Naturelie, lately puUiahed by the Royal Society, are the product of aereral yeara' ol)ser> 

In 1837 Agaaala flivt promulgated his " Glacial Tlieory," which haa erer since attracted 
much attention. It baring been aeaerted that it was inconsiatent with known fiicu, Agaa- 
siz for eight yeara spent his summer racations in making obserrations at the Glacier of 
the Aar, eight thousand feet abore the sea, and twelve miles from any other habitation 
than his own hut. The result of these examinations ars contahied in two woiks, Etudea 
9ur let Gkuien, and Syttime GlaeUre. 

In 1846 Agassis came to America, and on the establishment of the Lawrence Scientific 
School he accepted the appointment of Professor of Zo6logy and Geology, which be still 
)iolds. Since his arriral in this country, Professor Agassiz has presented a large number 
of communications to the American Academy and other scientific bodies, and has pub- 
l)shed, in connection with Dr. Gould, of Boston, a 2So91ogy for studenu. His elaborate 
work on Lake Superior hae just appeared. 





CHEMICAL SCIENCE, • • • • . ... 162 


BOTANY, 289 








PORTS, 374 






From the report of the engineer who has charge of the Wheeling 
Suspension Bridge, we derive the following facts. The span of the 
bridge from centre to centre of the supporting towers is 1,010 feet, 
which is 152 feet longer than the bridge at Friburg in Switzerland, 
the longest span hitherto constructed. The height of the flooring is 
97 feet above the low-water level of the river, and 58 feet above the 
highest flood ever known, except the celebrated one of 1832. The 
towers over which the suspension chains pass are built upon the abuk^ 
ments, and that at the eastern side rises 153^ feet above low- water, and 
60 above the abutments ; the other tower varies slightly from this 
measurement. The wire cables which support the flooring are 12 in 
Dumber, 1,380 feet long, and 4 inches in diameter. These cables rest 
on iron rollers, placed on the summits of the towers, the movements 
of which will relieve the towers of the strain consequent upon the 
contraction and elongation of the wires, occasioned by the changes of 
temperature. The flooring is 24 feet wide, divided between a carriage- 
way of 17 feet, and two footpaths of 3|| feet each. The length of the 
wood-work resting on the cables is 960 feet, and its weight is 546 
pounds per lineal foot, making a total of 524,160 pounds, or 262 tons. 
In each cable there are 550 strands of No'. 10 wire. The weight of 
each lineal foot of the 12 cables, which are composed of 6,600 strands, 
is 330 pounds, making, with the weight of the timbers, bolts, &c., a 
total of 920 pounds per lineal foot, or 634 tons as the permanent weight 
of the bridge. But, in addition to its own weight, it is intended to 
support the largest weight that can be brought upon it at one time. If 
filled from one end to the other with a double row of the heavy wag- 
ons used on the National Road, it is calculated that an additional weight 
of about 600 tons might possibly be brought upon it. But it ia ascer- 
tained by a machine, that the aggregate strength of the 6^600 strands 



of wire composing the 12 cables is 4,950 tons, so that they will in an 
ordinary state of the bridge be capable of supporting five times the 
strain which they are actually called upon to bear ; and when the 
platform is filled with loaded teams they will have the power of resist- 
ing three times the strain produced by the bridge itself, and three times 
the additional strain produced by the teams. The anchorage of the 
bridge is formed on the Wheeling side by very heavy anchoring-irons, 
which are imbedded in the earth, and surrounded on all sides by a 
ponderous pile of massive masonry. On the island side, continuous 
links of wrought iron are imbedded in the massive wing walls, so that 
there need be no apprehension of a failure in this portion of the struc> 
ture. This bridge was built by a joint stock company, who have 
a charter from the State of Virginia, and the engineer is Charles 
Ellet, Jr. 



The chief peculiarity of this bridge consists in its iron arch, which 
is extended to a very considerable span, and furnishes a highly impor- 
tant test of the powers of resistance, both of the material itself and of 
the particular form in which it is used. At the same time it is per- 
fectly safe, for if the arch fails, the truss without is sufficient to sus- 
tain any weight that can come upon the bridge. The general arrange- 
ment of the truss is that of the well-known Howe Bridge. The arch 
is constructed of a centre rib of cast iron, 7 inches deep, with upper 
and lower horizontal flanches, 5 inches wide ; two rolled iron plates are 
placed on the top and two on the bottom of the cast rib, breaking 
joint with the rib and with each other, and secured by clamps at prop- 
er intervals. Below the chords are solid cast-iron skew-backs, and 
castings of suitable form to connect with the skew-back and to receive 
the ends of the arch are placed on the top of the lower chord. As it 
was believed that the failure of cast-iron bridges generally results from 
the inequality of pressure upon the joints, they were separated to the 
distance of one fourth of an inch, and spelter was poured into them in 
a melted state. The castings were made with itich holes near the 
ends, through which rods were passed to assist in raising them. The 
most important advantage to be derived from the peculiar arrangement 
exhibited in this structure was the practical test of the power of re- 
sistance of a counter-braced iron arch on a large scale. The counter- 
braces being placed above the arch, and resting against it by adjusting 
or set screws, and there being at short distances vertical posts of oak, 
also terminating in a set screw resting on the arch, it will be readily 
perceived, that, by loosening the counter-brace screws, and tightening 
those on the posts, the bridge will be raised upon the arch, so that the 
latter will bear the whole weight of the truss and its load. This ex- 
periment has thus far proved entirely successful, and shows that the 
counter-braced arch, which is the lightest and cheapest system possi- 
ble, is also perfectly reliable for spans of any magnitude. In the 
Franklin InstUuie Journal for September, from which we abridge this 


article, a aeiies of observations on the working of tlie bridge is given 
with some minuteness, especially those with reference to the expan- 
sion and contraction of the iron, all of which were perfectly sat- 


In describing this great triumph of modem art, it will be at once the 
easiest and the clearest mode of proceeding to divide our description 
into four parts. 1. The principle upon which the bridge is construct- 
ed. 3. The mode of construction. 3. The floating of the tubes. 
4. The manner in which they were subsequently raised. And, first, 
as to the principle of the construction. In constructing a railway 
from Chester to Holyhead, the great difficulty to be surmounted was 
to discover a means of transporting the trains across the Menai Strait, 
between Caernarvon and the island of Anglesey. The point selected 
for crossing is as narrow as could be found, but is exposed to tre- 
mendous gales of wind. The Admiralty insisted that the bridge 
must be sufficiently high above the water to allow of vessels passing 
under it freely, 100 feet being the space reauired, and they also for- 
bade that any scaffi)lding or centring should be used. After much 
deliberation, Mr. Stephenson selected the plan of two cast-iron arches, 
which were to be made to balance each other in the centre, in a man- 
ner that has been pronounced, by a high authority, '< one of the most 
beautiful structures ever invented." But the Admiralty vetoed this, 
as not leaving the requisite space except at the centre of the arches. 
Mr. Stephenson then resorted to the present plan, whose principle is 
to have the trains pass through long, low, straight, hollow tubes, 
one for the up trains and one for the down ones, composed of wrought- 
iron "boiler plates," firmly riveted together. The tubes he decided 
to have oval or elliptical in shape, to turn aside the force of the winds, 
and with the ends resting on abutments of masonry. To complete 
his plan he had three intermediate towers between the abutments, one 
to be constructed at high-water-mark on each side of the strait, and 
the third, no less than 210 feet in height, to be erected near the mid- 
dle of the stream, on a small rock. The four lengths of each of the 
twin tubes he proposed to have as follows: — from the Caernarvon 
abutment to the tower at high-water-mark, 274 feet ; from the latter 
tower to the central Britannia tower, 472 feet ; from the central tower 
to that at high-water-mark on the Anglesey shore, 472 feet; and 
thence to the Anglesey abutment, 274 feet, giving for each line of 
tubes a total length of 1,492 feet. 

Having formed his plan, Mr. Stephenson recommended that ex- 
periments should be made to test the proper strength of the various 
parts, the shape, &c., which was done, and the results we have given 
in another 'article. It is sufficient to remark here, that it was found 
that the tubes should be stronger at the top than at the bottom, and 
that the shape should be rectangular. It was also determined that the 
four shortest galleries, each 230 feet long, should be at once con- 
structed upon scaffi^ldsy in the positions in which they were to remain ; 


while the four longfeet gfalleriee, each 473 feet long, Bhoold be con- 
structed upon wooden platforms, at high-water-mark on the Caemar^ 
▼on shore, and should be floated to the foot of the towers on pon- 
toons, thence to be raised to their positions by hydraulic presses. 

n. Construction of the Tu^ and Towers, — A Dlatiorm was at 
once constructed of balks of timber coTered with planks, for the build- 
ing of the tubes, and near this platform, which was half a mile long, 
were erected workshops, with the requisite for^ and machinery. 
Sevend wharves were built and six steam-engmes procured. 700 
men were employed on the iron-work, and Sk) on the stone for 
the towers. We will describe the construction of the Tarions por- 

Plates, — The wroughtriron plates which form the top, bottom, and 
sides of the Britannia *Mand tubes," 330 feet in length, are, of 
course, slighter than those required for the four, each 460 feet, which 
overhanff 3ie stream. 

For Uiese long tubes, which are of the same height and breadth 
as the shorter ones, the dimensions of the plates are as follows : — 

For the bottom : 18 feet in length, 8 feet 4 inches to 8 feet 8 inches 
in breadth, f^^ to i inch in thickness. 

For the top : 6 feet in length, 1 foot inches to 3 feet H inch in 
breadth, | to | inch in thickness. 

For the sides : 6 feet to 6 feet 6 inches in length, 3 feet in breadth, 
I to i inch in thickness. 

Although these plates have been seyerally forged with every pos- 
sible attention, yet, to render them perfect in thickness, they are not 
allowed by Mr. Stephenson to be used for the tubes until each has 
been passed by the company's superintendent between two massive 
iron rollers, worked by steam, which, by revolving, squeeze down the 
pimples, that, from unequal contraction in the process of cooling, 
often disfigure the surface of plate iron. When the plates, the lar- 
gest of which weigh about seven hundred-weight, have been thus ac- 
curately flattened, they are, one afier another, according to their di- 
mensions, carried by two or more men towards one of several im- 
mense cast-iron levers, which, under the influence of steam, are to be 
seen from morning till night ascending and descending once in three 

Beneath the short end of this powerful lever there is aflixed to the 
bottom of a huge mass of solid iron a steel bolt, which, endowed 
with the enormous pressure of from 60 to 80 tons, sinks at every 
pulsation of the engine, into a hole rather larger than itself, perforated 
m a small anvil beneath. 

As soon as the laborers of the department bearing each plate ar- 
rive at this powerful machine, the engineer in charge of it, assisted 
by the carrying men, dexterously places the edge of the iron upon 
the anvil in such a position that the little punch in its descent shall 
consecutively impinge upon one of a series of chalk dots, which, at 
4 inches from each other and H inch from the edge, have been 
previously marked around the four sides of the plate ; and thus four 
rows of rivet-holes, averaging an inch in diameter, are, by the power 


we have described, pierced through the plate-iron from one half to 
three fourths of an inch in thickness. 

Some of the steam-arms or levers just described are gifted with 
what may be termed ** double thumbs,'* and accordingly these perfo- 
rate two holes at a time, or forty per minute, — the round pieces of 
iron cut out falling, at each pulsation of the engine, upon the ground| 
through the matrix or perforation in the anvil. 

When the plates, averaging from six to twelve feet in length, by 
above two feet in breadth, have been thus punched all around, and 
before they are brought to the tube, they are framed together on the 
ground, in compartments of about twenty plates each (five in length 
and four in breadth) , in order to be connected to each other by what 
are termed covering-plate and angle-irons. 

In order to prepare the former (which are half an inch in thick- 
ness, one foot in breadth, and about two feet long), they are heated in 
a.small furnace, when, instead of passing between rollers, they are 
put under a stamping, or, as it is technically termed, a joggling-block, 
which, by repeated blows, renders their surface perfectly flat ; after 
which a series of holes, corresponding in size as well as in distance 
from each other with those in the *' plates," is punched all along the 
outer edge of each of their four sides. When thus prepared, two of 
these small covering-plates, one on each side, are made to cover and 
overlap the horizontal line of windage existing between the edges of 
the plates, which, as we have stated, have b^n previously arranged 
so as to touch each other ; and bolts being driven through the -corre- 
sponding holes of the three plates (the large plates lying between the 
two covering ones) , they axe firmly riveted together by the process 
we are going to describe. 

In the construction of the Britannia tubes there have been required 
no less than two millions of bolts, averaging seven eighths of an inch 
in diameter and four inches in length. The quantity of rod-iron con- 
sumed for this purpose has, therefore, amounted in length to 126 miles, 
and in weight to about 900 tons ! The mode in which these legions 
of rivets have been constructed is briefly as follows. At the western 
end of the company's principal forging establishment there stands a 
furnace or trough, full of pieces of rod-iron, from 3} to 4| inches 
in length. As soon as, by the bellows worked by steam, they have 
been made uniformly red-hot, a little boy picks them out one after 
another through the furnace-door with a pair of pincers, from which 
he drops them perpendicularly into eight moulds, each of which being 
about three quarters of an inch shallower than the length of the piece 
of iron it respectively receives, they, of course, all equally protrude 
about that distance above the surface. They are then placed upon an 
anvil, and the protruding portion is flattened by a hammer worked by 
steam, so as to become at once a bolt. 

As soon as each '*set " of the half-inch iron plates which form the 
sides, top, and bottom of the Britannia tubes have by a travelling 
crane been lifted — technically termed "picked up" — into their 
place, and have been made to touch each other as closely as possi- 
ble, a movable stage on wheels is drawn close to the outside of the 



lobe, for the purpose of firmly connecting every set of plates to that 
which on each Bide adjoins it. This work b performed by what is 
termed *' a set of riyeters," composed of two riyeters/one '* holder- 
vp," and two hyet-boys. 

As soon ss the first two have ascended the scafifoMing on the oat- 
side of the tube, and when the holder-up, sitting on a board suspend* 
ed by ropes from the roof, has exactly opposite to them taken up his 
position on the inside, one of the boys quickly abstracts from a trayel- 
ting fumaoe, conveniently placed for the purpose, a red-hot bolt, 
which by a circular swing of his pincers he hurls inside the tube to- 
wards the other boy, who, as actively as possible, with a similar in- 
strument snapping it up, not only runs with it towards the holder-up, 
but as lon|^ as he can reach the rivet-holes inserts it for him. As 
soon as this is eflected, the holder-np presses against it an enormous 
iron hammer, which forces it outwards until it is stopped by its own 
head. The two riveters then hammer it on the outside, so that a head 
is formed there, and it becomes now a rivet, which, by contracting as it 
cools, binds together the plates eyen more firmly than they had al- 
ready been almost cemented by the irresistible coercion of three 
sledge-hammers ; indeed, they are so powerfully drawn together, that 
it haus been estimated that it would require a force of from four to six 
tons to each rivet to cause the plates to slide over each other. 

The bolts for the upper holes of the interior, which, being about 
thirty feet high, are of course completely out of the riyet-boy's reach, 
are dropped by him into a concentric iron ring, which , by a wire and cord 
passing over a pulley attached to one of the uppermost plates, is rap- 
idly raised, until the holder-up is enabled by pincers to grasp the fiery 
iron, which, on being inserted into its hole, he then instantly, as be- 
fore, presses with \Sa hammer. By the operations above described, 
*' a set of riveters '* usually drive per day about 230 rivets, of which in 
each plate there are about 18 per yard in two rows, averaging only 24 
inches of clear space between each bolt-head. On the large tubes 
alone there have been employed at once as many as 40 sets of rivet- 
ers, besides 26 '' platers," or men to adjust the plates, each having 
firom three to four men to assist him ; and when this well-regulated 
system is in full operation, it forms altogether, not only an extraordi- 
nary, but an astounding scene. 

But by far the most curious part of the riveting process is to be 
seen on the flat roof or top of the tube. This immense deck, which 
we have already stated to be 472 feet in length, is composed of a 
pavement of plates to be connected together by eighteen longitudinal 
rows of rivets, the heads of which are to be only 2<k inches apart. Be- 
neath this surface, at a depth of only 1 foot 9 inches, there is, to give 
additional strength, a similar stratum of plates, the space included be- 
tween both being divided into eight compartments called flues, 21 
inches deep by 20 inches broad, exactly resembling those of a com- 
mon stove. After the horizontal bottoms and upright sides of these 
eight flues have been firmly connected together by the battering pro- 
cess we have jast described, the upper stratum of plates is loosely 
laid down, and, being thus by the superincumbent weight of the iron 


coyering securely adjusted, their final connection is efiected as fol- 
lows. A *' rivet-boy" and a '*bolder-up" crawl into one of these 
flues, and having got arranged in there, at a signal red-hot rivets are 
passed through holes, made for the purpose, to the boy, who delivers 
them to the holder-up, and he in turn drives them through rivet-holes 
to the outside, where they are also pounded, so as to form a head 
there. It is extraordinary how any person can work from morning 
till night, as these do, in a space hardly large enough to lie down in. 
The plates, having been thus adjusted in the positions best suited to 
resist the strains they will have to bear, are finally connected together 
by small ribs riveted to them. The quantity of angle-iron thus 
worked up, through the top, bottom, and sides of aQl the tubes, 
amounts to 65 miles. 

The Britannia tower in the centre of the strait is at the base 63 
feet by 53, and rises to a height of 230 feet. This enormous struc- 
ture, which weighs over 20,000 tons, contains 148,625 cubic feet of 
Anglesey marble for the exterior, 144,625 cubic feet of sandstone for 
the interior, and 387 tons of cast-iron beams and girders, worked into it, 
give strength and security to the mass. The province of this tower is 
to sustain the four ends of the foar long iron tubes which will span 
the strait from shore to shore. The total quantity of stone contained 
in the bridge is 1,500,000 cubic feet. The side or land towers are 
each 62 feet by 52 in the base, and 190 feet high. They contain 210 
tons of cast iron. 

III. The Floating of the Tube, — The props on which the tube 
rested having been removed, so that it was supported only at the ends, 
it was found that now the slightly circular form of the bottom be- 
came, as was intended, perfectly straight. The pontoons, eight in 
number, each 98 feet long, 25 wide, and 1 1 deep, were built with 
valves in the bottom to let in or keep out the water at pleasure, and 
were capable of bearing a weight of 3,200 tons, though the tube 
weighed but 1,800. From these pontoons, hawsers, whose united 
length was over two miles, were passed to capstans on the two 
shores, and on the Britannia tower, and when, at the signal, the Caer- 
narvon ropes were cut, the tube at once slid on to the pontoons. It 
was then slowly floated by the tide down to the position from which 
it was to be raised, where it was securely fastened. 

lY. liaising the Tube, ^The tube was raised by means of an hy- 
draulic press of immense power. The cylinder or large tube of the 
syphon of the press, which is 9 feet 4 inches long, 4 feet 10 inches in 
diameter, and which is made of cast iron 11 inches thick, weighs 16 
tons. The whole machine, complete, weighs over 40 tons, its lif%p 
ing power is 2,622 tons, and it has force enough to throw water 5,000 
feet higher than Mont Blanc. The manner in which this immense 
machine works is as follows. Its position on the Britannia tower is 
148 feet above the level of the water, and aboat 45 above that to 
which the tube must be raised. Around the neck of the iron ram or 
piston is aflixed a strong horizontal iron beam, from tlie extremities 
of which hang two enormous chains, composed of eight or nine flat 
links or plates, 7 inches broad, 1 inch thick, and 6 feet long, firmly 

30 anhual or sciintific disc^tbet. 

Mted together. These chains, being each 145 feet long, weigh no 
leas than 100 tons. The press being pat in operation, in about thirty 
Biinutes it raises the tube six feet, and here it stops till the masonry 
can be built up under the tube, when it takes another ** hitch " of the 
same length. It was during one of these *' hitehes,'' that one of 
the presses, for there must of course be one for each end of the tube, 
broke, owing to some defect, and the tube fell seven inches to the 
masonry below ; but it wae not at all injured, though several of the 
workmen were considerably hurt. After this accident, the hoisting 
was obliged to be stopped till a new cylinder could be oast, and the 
time was occupied in further strengthening the various portions of the 
ponderous machinery. Operations, however, were soon renewed, 
and on the 15th of October, the tube was raised to its permanent 
level of 100 feet above high-water-mark. 

The other tubes are to be floated and hoisted as soon as the prep- 
arations can be made. When ail the tubes are in place, they are to 
be firmly bolted to the piers, and those in each line will be firmly con- 
nected together, and after this the extremities of each line are to be 
lowered i2tx>ut 15 inches, by removing fiilse foundations, and this will 
add materially to the strength of the whole. Rollers are placed 
under the tubes on the two abutments, to allow of contraction or ex- 
pansion with the changes of the weather. The whole iron passage 
IS 1,841 feet long. The expense of the whole work will be about 
600,000 pounds sterling. — London Quarterly for October, 


It was necessary to erect this bridge in a situation where it was 
found advisable to dispense with piers and suspension-rods projecting 
above the level of the road, and as the ravine to be crossed was 150 
rods wide, and it was doubtful whether a proper foundation for the 
erection of heavy stone piers could be obtained, recourse was had to 
what is called the self-adjusting principle. The chain-rods are made 
of the best seven-eighths round iron, in lengths of 15 feet each, with 
secure lock-joints placed alternately. Across these are fitted flat ban 
above and below, about six feet apart, upon which the wooden planks 
forming the platform are firmly secured by bolts and nuts screwed up 
from below. The chain rods are secured at one end to a massive stone 
pier, by strong cramp plates and bars, built in from the foundation on 
the Grosvenor side, while the stone pier at the other end of the bridge 
is formed into a pit. On the top of this, resting on cast-iron girder 
beams and pedestals, is placed a very strong grooved barrel, around 
which each of the chains is made to take one turn, descending to a 
strong cast-iron plate, which is suspended near the bottom of the pit 
at the depth of 30 feet, to which it is fastened. Upon this plate a mass 
of masonry is built, forming a weight sufiicient to counterbalance the 
whole weight of the rest of the bridge, and keeping the chain-bars in 
a proper state of tightness, as well as providing for contraction and 
expansion. We thus have the novel plan of a suspension bridge which 
is fastened at one end to a pier of masonry, while at the other the sua- 


pension chains or nxk «e held by a large mass of masonry buUt vpon 
a saspended plate, to which they are fastened. There are, however, 
in order to give additional secarity, hack stay-rods at each end, which 
run a considerahle distance into the ground, and ue fastened to mas- 
sive oak frames, thus giving an additional resisting force of many hun- 
dreds of tons of earth* 


There has lately heen exhibiting in London a large model of a sus- 
pension bridge, which is about to be erected over the River Dnieper, by 
order of the Emperor of Russia. When completed, the bridge will be 
half an English mile long, thus forming the longest suspension bridge 
in the world. It is proposed to have five piers, besides the two abut- 
ments, making four openings of 444 feet each, and two of 222 feet. 
The road-way will be 34 feet wide, with a footpath of 6 feet, and on 
the Russian side of the river there will be a smsdl revolving or swivel 
bridge, by which the communication with the Polish side of the river 
can be at once cut off. This swivel bridge will communicate with the 
rest of the structure by an island formed of masonry, which will be 
so constructed that any injury which happens to the chains within it 
can be easily repaired. The work will, on account of its frontier sit- 
uation, be strongly fortified, each of the immense piers on which the 
chains are swung being intended to be mounted with cannon. Five 
years will be required to complete this extensive structure. 



On the Manchester, Shefiield, and Lincolnshire Railroad, a bridge 
has just been completed across the River Trent, which is of a similar 
character with the Britannia Tubular Bridge, but it differs from it in this 
important respect ; that, instead of being intended for the trains to run 
through the inside of the tube, the girders form the parapets of the 
bridge, and the road-way is supported by transverse wroughtr-iron hol- 
low beams, also of tubular construction. This bridge is called the 
Hollow Girder Bridge, to distinguish it from the Britannia Bridge, and 
it is the largest one of the sort yet constructed. The stone-work con- 
sists of a centre pier and two elliptical arches of 50 feet span, termi- 
nating by substantial abutments. The iron part of the structure con- 
sists of two spans of 154 feet each, which with the land arches and 
abutments give a total length of about 460 feet. The principal girders 
are each 336 feet lon^, 12 high, and 3 feet 1 inch wide. The tops of 
the girders are formed of two cells 18 inches wide and 12 deep, to re- 
sist compression. The girders are fixed securely on the middle pier, 
but on the abutments their ends are supported upon rollers, resting on 
cast-iron plates, bedded into the masonry to admit of expansion and 
contraction. On the outside of the girders are riveted two parallel 
lines of angle-iron in the form of an arch, which spring from the mid- 
dle pier to the abutments on each side. The two principal girders 


weigh 150 tons eadi ; the traasvene beams, plaoed 4 feet asander, 
weigh 63, and the cast-iron 10, giving 393 tons as the total weight of 
the bridge. The girders were constructed on one side of the river 
and hauled across on rollers to the other side ; but great difficulty was 
experienced in this, as of course the girders during this process could 
rest upon but few points, and one end of them must sometimes be sus- 
pended for 130 feet, before it received any auxiliary support — Eng- 
lish Railway Chronicle. 


The suspension bridge which is erected over the Danube, at Pesth, 
was commenced in 1840, under the direction of an English engineer, 
and was finished in January, 1849, at a cost of 3,300,000 dollars. This 
bridge has a clear water-way of 1,350 feet, the centre span or opening 
being 679 f^^^* I'be height of Uie suspension towers from the foun- 
dation is 300 feet, being funded in 50 feet of water. The sectional 
area of the suspending chains is 531 square inches of wrought iron, 
and the total weight of the same is 1,300 tons. This is the first per- 
manent bridge which has been erected over the Danube below Vienna 
since the time of the Romans. -^ Journal of Franklin Institute for May, 


A PATENT has been issued to Mr. Warren S. Bartle, of Newark, 
N. J., for an improved apparatus for feeding steam-boilers. It is dif- 
ficult to give a correct idea of it without the aid of plates, but we 
will endeavour to describe the more important parts. A small cylinder 
is erected and attached to a convenient part of the boiler, communi- 
cating with it by a pipe above for steam, and one below for water. A 
float is placed in this cylinder, which as it rises and falls turns a cock, 
to shut off and open the suction-pipe of a force-pump, so as to regu- 
late the supply according to the depth of water in the boiler. To ef- 
fect this turning of the cock, the float is connected by a rod to an arm, 
which passes through a steam-tight bearing box. Fastened to this 
arm is a wire, which is nicely balanced on it, and is fastened below to 
two adverse ratchets, which in turn are accurately balanced on pivots 
in a small upright standard. As the float rises and falls in the cylin- 
der, these ratchets turn a ratchet-wheel, which shuts or opens the 
suction-passage of the force-pump. The passage is opened to its 
greatest extent when the float is at its lowest line, and when it is at a 
certain height it is shut up entirely. By some sulditional machinery 
the action of the pump is wholly shut ofi?*, and the inventor claims as 
his, various modifications of this apparatus. — Scientific American. 


The Scientific American describes another new apparatus for feed- 
ing boilers, whereby the force-pump is done away with. It is so con- 
structed that the water vnll be kept continually at the water-line, and 


the principle of it eonsists in bringing a Teoeiver alternately in com<* 
munion with the water-tanks, and then with the steam and water of 
the boiler, so as to receive the water in the one case, and pass it into 
the boiler by the steam at the water-line in the other case. To effect 
this there is a small revolving disk driven by a pinion, which works 
steam-tight between two metal plates, communicating with the boiler 
by a tufc« passing down into the water in it. Above, it communicates 
with the water-tank by a pipe and also with the steam. The revolv* 
ing disk has a receiver in it, which takes the water from the tank 
above, carries it round between the upper and lower plates until it is 
passing above the feed-pipe into the boiler below, when it is at once 
Wought into connection with the steam-pipe above, and the water is 
deposited in the boiler. It will be observed that if the water is up to 
the line of the revolving disk, the water in the receiver will not be 
pressed into it, but will be carried round. It can be operated by a re- 
ciprocating motion, and its principle is like that of the slide-valve. It 
is the invention of Mr. Foskit, of Meriden, Connecticut. 


The London Times contains an account of a new invention called 
** Wright's Patent Steam Generator," some experiments with which 
have been entirely successful. The principle of the invention consists 
in applying to the boilers of steam-engines an arrangement of what 
are called '< cellular vessels,'* formed of malleable casMron, one ves« 
sel being placed nndemeath the boiler and over the fire, while the oth- 
er is placed within the boiler. They are connected by means of bent 
tubes, so as to have a free communication with each other, bat are 
insulated as regards the water in the boiler. They are charged with 
water, which, except from any slight unavoidable waste, is never 
changed, and there is a small safety-valve connected with them, which 
is so loaded that the temperature of the insulated water contained in 
the cellular vessels may, if necessary, be raised to 400 degrees or 500 
degrees of Fahrenheit without forming into steam. The vessels, 
therefore, remain perfectly charged, and the insulated water in the 
lower vessel, taking up the principal portion of the heat of the fire, 
rises by its inferior gravity through the bent tubes, and is diffused 
through all parts of the cellular vessel within the boiler. The excess 
of heat is there instantly given off to the water in the boiler, and the 
insulated water descends by increased gravity to take up a fresh charge 
oi heat. The result of the experiments made with this ingenious inven- 
tion was an evaporation, at the rate of 12.8 pounds of water to 1 pound 
of coal, the rate given by the present construction of boiTers being stated 
at 8 pounds of water to 1 pound of coal. Besides the saving of fud 
which would thus appear to be effected, there is also the obvious ad- 
vantage that the fiame hardly impinges upon the boiler from the inter- 
vention of the cellular vessel, and the boiler is thus saved from the 
rapid deterioration to which it is now exposed by the excessive heat 
which plays upon it. The principle of the invention is equally appli- 
cable to every boiling and evaporating process, but, if after a more ex- 


tensive practical experience it is found to answer; the economy which 
it secures will probably be most advantageously felt in the cas& of ma- 
rine en^es, the space required for the stowage of fuel in steam-ves- 
sels bemg at present so very large. Mr. J. Goocfa, of the South- 
western Railway, has tested Mr. Wright^s patent, and the result 
corresponds exactly with that obtained on Saturday, when 66 pounds 
of coal evaporated 720 pounds of water in the space of an hour and 
IS minutes. 


The improved disk engine which has been fitted up for the purpose 
of driving the printing-presses of the London Times occupies the 
wonderfully small space of seven feet in length by four in width, and 
its hij^hest part is but three feet above the floor of the room. The 
pecuharity of the encine is, that it gives direct motion to a crank on 
the engine-shaft, and exerts a perfectly uniform force on it during the 
whole revolution. When driven by gearing without a fly-wheel there 
is no ** back lash " in the wheels. The steam can be cut off at a 
very early part of the stroke without affecting the regularity of the 
jdriving force, and although the speed of the piston or the disk rings 
is but 200 feet per minute, the engine makes three times as many rev- 
olutions in that time as the common engine. It is suggested that this 
principle could be applied to driving the screw-propeller direct, as it is 
only necessary that the engine shaft should be extended through the 
vessel, and have the propeller attached to it. Could this be e&cted, 
those vessels which cannot spare much room could advantageously 
adopt the screw-propeller. 


A CORRESPONDENT of a London journal gives an account of his visit 
to a manufactory in Southgate, where he saw in operation a machine 
for the almost instantaneous stopping of steam-engines. He says, — 
« We were taken to the end of the spinning-room, when the whole 
machinery, driven by an engine of 30 horse-power, was in full opera- 
tion. At a signal, a valve was opened that admitted the atmospheric 
air, which instantly choked the condenser of the engine, shut off the 
throttle and water valves, and opened the blow-valves. After this 
was done, the fly-wheel made only one revolution and a quarter, 
while ordinarily it makes &re before it can be brought to a stand. 
Notwithstanding the suddenness of the stoppage, not a single thread 
was broken. This piece of machinery, which may be called a safety- 
valve, may be put at any distance, and, by means of pipes, it will op- 
erate in the same manner as if it were close at hand. The value of 
this must be seen when we consider the frequent cases where persons 
are caught in the mill-straps and drawn up over the shaft, whereby 
they are destroyed ; but by this invention the whole machinery may 
be stopped before they could come in contact with the shaft." The 
expense of putting up the apparatus amounts to about three dollars for 
each horse-power. 



This machine is intended to be applied to the loading and discharg- 
ing of cargoes from vessels, and has been so used for some time by a 
stevedore of Philadelphia. The motion of the engine is communicat- 
ed to a fly-wheel shaft, which carries a small pinion-gearing into a 
large wheel. The winding barrel to which this hoisting-rope is at- 
tached is locked to the shsS of the large wheel by means of a driving 
friction-coupling, which is thrown into or out of motion by a lever ; 
and the motion of the drum when free from the shafl of the wheel is 
controlled by a friction-band, which is tightened or slackened by a 
brake. The machine requires but one person to attend to it, and is 
capable of hoisting twelve hogsheads of tobacco from the hold of a 
vessel, and turning them out on the wharf, in ten minutes, or it can 
discharge three hundred bales of cotton per hour. In case the article 
being raised should strike on the combings of the hatchway, the engi- 
neer has only to slacken the brake, and it is lowered without stopping 
the engine, so as to clear the obstruction, and then by tightening the 
brake again the ascending motion is restored. In lowering, the arti- 
cles can be stopped at any point with great ease. The machine is on 
wheels, and can be moved from place to place by a single horse.— 
Journal of FrankHn Institute for September. 


A Niew locomotive has lately been placed on the York and New- 
castle Railroad, whose performance, both with regard to speed and 
to power, surpasses all previous experiments. It regularly runs 45 
miles in 40 minutes with a train of cars, and it is computed that 
as soon as the new rails are laid down the distance will be accom- 
plished with ease in half an hour, that is, at the surprising rate of 90 
miles an hour. The velocity, although the greatest yet attained, is 
accomplished with an entire freedom from that apparent oscillating 
and undulating motion which characterizes outside-cylinder engines. 
Its arrangements are entirely new ; the top of the boiler, which is four 
feet in diameter, being only seven feet nine inches above the rails. 
The cylinders are 16 inches in diameter ; the stroke of the piston is 
20 inches ; the driving-wheels are 6i feet, and the carrying-wheels 4 
feet in diameter, and are entirely of wrought iron. The eccentrics 
and gearing also being outside of the wheels, render the whole engine 
compact, simple, and easy of access. — London Mining Journal, 


Mr. a. Stillman, of the New York Novelty Iron- Works, has pa- 
tented an invention for indicating the lowness of water in steam-boil- 
ers, which is said to have proved very satisfactory, after several trials. 
One or more tubes are passed through the upper surface of the boiler, 
reaching down to the top of the flues, or fire-tubes ; they are about an 
inch in diameter inside, and are £3istened securely down by a screw- 



nut. At the bottom end the orifice is much contracted, so that any 
fluid entering can easily ascend in the larger portion. On this small 
orifice is pla^ a cap of soft metal, fusible at a low temperature, and 
the tube being screwed tight down compresses this fusible cap against 
the top of the flue. Now, as long as the cap remains at 212^^, the 
temperature of the boilmg water, it will keep its place ; but if the sup- 
ply of water fails, so that the surface of it in the boiler gets below the 
cap, the flue becomes red-hot, and the fusible metal melting off from 
the small tube, the steam instantly rushes out, and thus gives notice 
to the engineer. More water is of course then let into the boiler, and 
the pipes are stopped with plugs of wood till at the first opportunity, 
when the steam is down, a new cap is screwed on. It is evident, 
therefore, that though this may answer for one occasion, yet if the wa- 
ter gets too low twice during the same trip, the boiler may be blown 
up without any warning being given of the want of water. 


These different gages are the inyention of Mr. A. S. Lyman, of 
St. Louis, and may be separately described, though intended to go to- 
gether. The steam-gage consists of an iron tube, of any length, 
which is attached at one end to the top of the boiler, while the other 
is curved in the form of an inverted siphon ; connected with this is a 
strong glass tube, sealed at the top, and placed in an upright position 
beside a scale graduated to show the number of pounds of steam in 
the boiler to the inch. The longer leg of the siphon is in part filled 
with mercury, above which is a column of water, to protect it from 
the heat of the steam, which is forced from the boiler through the iron 
tube until it comes in contact with the water. The pressure of the 
steam on the water compresses the air in the glass tube, so that double 
the pressure drives the air into nearly half the space. The correct- 
ness of the gage depends on the fact that the water is a good non-con- 
ductor, and cannot transmit heat downwards. Air is expanded by 
being heated, and it requires a greater pressure to force it into a given 
space when warm than when cold. Eight degrees of temperature 
make a difference of a pound in the indication of the gage, and it is for 
this reason that the thermometer is added, and the s^e is made when 
the mercury stands at 72 degrees. At this temperature the scale is 
strictly correct, but for every 8 degrees more or less you add or sub- 
tract one pound. 

The water-gage is constructed in the same way as the steam- 
gage, except that, instead of being connected with the top of the boil- 
er, it is connected with a copper box, hermetically sealed, lying in 
the boiler and on the flue. This box is filled with water, so saturated 
with salt as to prevent freezing, and it has no outlet except through 
the water-gage. The indications of this gage vary from those of 
the steam-gage for several reasons, the principal of which is that 
more heat is required to produce a given pressure from salt than from 
fresh water. As soon as the water falls too low, or leaves the surface 
of the flues bare, they receive extra heat, and so the pressure in the 


copper box will rapidly increase. This increase will be indicated by 
the water-gage, and notice will be given before the extra heat be- 
comes dangerous. The safety-valve can then be raised, so as to let 
off some of the steam, which will cause the water to foam up and cool 
the surface of the flues, and if the alarm is attended to in time there 
will be no danger in this. But if it is neglected, the only safe way is 
to partially extinguish the fires and start the ]^umps. 

The steam-gages are so constructed that, if any more air is intro- 
duced than there was before the scale was made, the extra quantity 
will escape the first time the steam is down ; and the scales cannot be 
slid upwards so as to make them indicate less than the true pressure, 
for this would be at once detected by comparison with the stuffing- 
boxes that hold the glass tubes. The only methods, then, of interfer- 
ing with the correctness of the water-gage would be by cutting a 
hole in the box or the flue, thus letting the water out into the boiler, 
oT by fastening down the alarm-valves. If the former were done, the 
vibrations of mercury in the two gages would correspond, and so in- 
dicate that something was wrong. Ef the valve were fastened down, 
the iron tube would burst open, and this must take place ^before the 
flues were heated to 45(P, and as it requires 1,000^ to produce a red 
heat, timely warning of this would be given. There are several other 
guards against all possible derangements of this very ingenious inven- 
tion, which is the best preventive of explosions we have yet seen. — 
Scientific American, 


Several trials have been made, as we learn from the London Times^ 
with a rotary engine, which has been brought to its present working 
condition by Hon. W. E. Fifczmaurice. The engine is very simple, 
merely consisting of two pieces so mathematically arranged that the 
interior part works in the outer with the greatest ease, being free from 
dead points and without the slightest vibration, however great the ve- 
locity. It has no springs or packing, and the parts meet each other so 
harmoniously as only to give a humming noise like a spinning top, and 
it is not in the least liable to get out of order, the wear being per- 
fectly uniform throughout. The entire motion being a rolling in- 
stead of a cutting one, the engine will last long without repair, as 
the surface becomes case-hardened in a very short space of time. 
The triab took place in the presence of several scientific gentle- 
men and engineers of eminence in their profession, in a frigate's 
pinnace, the engine being constructed for the government. The boat 
IS of 10 tons burden, carrying a load of 5i tons, and drawing 4 feet of 
water. She is 33 feet long and 8 feet breadth of beam, made for car- 
rying men and carronades, but not in any way calculated for speed, 
and yet the engine of 10 horse-power, occupying a space of 21 inches 
by 7 inches, drove a screw-propeller of 3 feet in diameter and 4 feet 
pitch with such velocity as to make 300 revolutions in a minute, the 
motion being given on the direct-action principle. Although the 
boat wag not at all calcaiated for speed, she was'propelled against the 


Stream a distance of 8 miles in 20 minutes, eqnal, allowing for the 
strength of the current, to 8 miles an hour. The engine weighs con- 
siderably less than 1 cwt. to each horse-power, and requires much 
less fuel than the ordinary engines, and is so easily set in motion, 
graduated to any velocity, or stopped, that a boy of 12 years of age 
might mana^ it with one hand. The best judges have pronounced 
a high opinion of its capabilities, after witnessing its performances. 
Captain Fitzmaurice makes no secret of the invention, but shows its 
interior freely, as it is intended for the public service. An engine of 
100 horse-power on Captain Fitzmaurice's construction would only 
occupy a space of 4 feet by 2 feet. 


In answer to some questions from the Admiralty, with reference to 
the employment of high-pressure steam, working expansively in 
marine engines, Mr. J. Seaward has submitted a long paper, which 
closes as follows : — '* The highest pressure of steam that we have in 
any case put upon a marine boiler of our own construction, was about 
]61b6. to the square inch ; but we are not inclined to repeat the ex- 
periment, as we feel assured that we can obtain equally good results 
with steam of a lower pressure. From 10 to iSlbs. is the usual 
pressure we employ in the merchant service for engines and boilers of 
comparative small power. The steam pressure at present employed 
in the service is about Slbs. per square inch. We consider steam 
of this pressure to be well adapted for the exigencies of the service ; 
we believe it is calculated to secure all the important advantages of 
power, and economy of weight and space, in a very eminent degree ; 
these advantages will, in some respects, be slightly increased by aug- 
menting the steam pressure to 10 or 121b6. to the square inch. We 
strongly recommend that the steam employed in the navy should not 
be of greater pressure than 10, or in extreme cases, 121bs. ; any ma- 
terial increase to the latter pressure will be attended with consider- 
able risk without any adequate advantage." These remarks do not 
apply to the use of high-pressure non-condensing engines. — London 


The "Combined Vapor Engine," as it is called, on the principle 
of M. du Tremblay, a French inventor, is now attracting the atten- 
tion of London mechanics and savans. The en^ne was originally 
brought out in Paris, in 1846 ; subsequently the French government 
had one constructed, and appointed commissioners to experiment as to 
its value. The commissioners made a report, in which they stated 
that the power of the steam-engine was more than doubled by the ad- 
dition of M. du Tremblay 's apparatus, without any additional fuel be- 
ing required. The invention, it appears, is applied ** either to ^ 
single engine with two cylinders and pistons, or, as is usual for mari- 
time purposes, to two distinct engines with a cylinder and piston each." 
To the engine exhibited a small pipe is attached from a boiler, by which 


one of the pistons is acted upon by steam, as in the ordinary steam- 
engine. Upon the escape of the steam from the first cylinder in 
which it so acts upon the piston, it is received in an air*tight case, 
termed a vaporizer, in which there are a number of small copper tubes 
filled with chloroform. Upon the steam coming in contact with the 
tubes the chloroform becomes vaporized, and works the other cyl- 
inder, while the steam is condensed and returns into the boiler, as 
warm water, to regenerate fresh steam, or motive power. In the 
meantime, the chloroform, after exerting its force upon the second 
cylinder, is, in its turn, condensed, and, by means of a force-pump, 
returned to the vaporizer, which is thus kept regularly supplied, the 
chloroform being alternately vaporized and condensed. In addition to 
the advantage of giving greater power to engines than by the ordinary 
steam process, the vapor being nearly as IJ^ to I more powerful than 
steam, it is stated that a saving of nearly 50 per cent, is effected in 
fueL M. du Tremblay originSly used ether as his vaporizing agent, 
but, at the suggestion of M. Arago, he has substituted chloroform, 
which, although it does not vaporize at quite so low a temperature 
as ether, has the advantage of being perfectly incombustible and in- 
explosive, thus removing an objection which was made to the in- 
vention as originally brought out, of the inflammable nature of the 
liquid used. One of M. du Tremblay's engines, of 35 horse-power, 
has been constantly at work for 14 hours a day at a glass manufac- 
tory in Lyons for more than 12 months, during which time the liquid 
used has been ether, without any accident or disarrangement of the 
machinery having occurred. 


We find in the London Mining Journal a long letter from Count 
de Wardinsky, who claims to have discovered a new motive power, 
whose force far surpasses that of steam or any other known power. 
He says, — *' If we employ one cubic inch of this new ingredient, we 
obtain from it a pressure of forty-six tons to the square inch of sur- 
face. The gases evolved consist chiefly of carbonic oxide and car- 
bonic acid gas, which are both permanently elastic, so that in passing 
through cold air or water they do not collapse, but will follow the 
piston to the utmost limit of its work. In using this ingredient we 
require neither fire nor water ; it creates neither smoke nor any offen- 
sive eflluvia, and leaves no residuum except a slight moisture. Neither 
is there any compound in the gases which could corrode metals, as 
was assumed by Teschemacher and others, who supposed that there 
might be compounds of cyanogen in the gases of this ingredient, 
judging from the color of the flame when such gases are ignited, 
never once telling us that the greatest portion is carbonic oxide, which 
is well known to bum with a dark blue flame. The ingredient in 
question consists, in fact, of all kinds of vegetable fibres, such as cot- 
ton, flax, hemp, tow, &c., rendered explosive by being dipped for 15 
minutes in nitric acid, strengthened by the admixture of an equal 
quantity of sulphuric acid, after which they are well washed in pure 



water and dried for two hoaxa." The 6ct thai these fibres thus be- 
come explosiTe was first noticed by Professor Otto, about fourteen 
years ago, bat it was not fully explained and brought to publie notice 
till 1845. It is the substance called gun-cotton by Professor Schon- 
bein, and xyloidine by M. Pelouze. Considering the Tcry intense 

Eower of xvloidine, it is the most easily controlled substance we 
now of, as bv compression its explosion can be retarded or wholly 
preyented. For an engine of two horse-power, a thread of this in- 
gredient, not larger than sewing-cotton, is sufiteieut, so very explosive 
is it, and the Count expects that it will cause steam-engines to be- 
come obsolete, as he thinks he can successfully apply his new diacoy- 
ery to all manners of locomotion, &c. 


Evert year sees some new steamboat constructed which surpasses 
in size, magnificence, or speed those previously made. There is no 
doubt that the mechanics or this country excel Uiose of any other in 
their inland steamboats, and it is also probable that in a few years 
the same can be said of our sea-going steamships, though it must be 
allowed that those hitherto produced are, wiih few exceptions, decided 
failures. During the present year, the new steamboat New World 
has commenced running. She is said to be the longest boat ever put 
on the stocks in this country, and the longest afloat in the world. 
Her length is 337 feet ; extreme width, 69 feet ; the engine is 76 
feet in cylinder, 15 feet in stroke, and the wheels, of iron, 46 feet in 
diameter. She draws 4} feet of water. The engine is a low-pre»- 
sure one, and though the boat is so very long she obeys the helm 
with great readiness. Her decorations are all of the most superb and 
costly character. 

If we ever attain any rreater speed either in our inland or sea- 

ing steam-vessels, it will be principally by enlarging their size. 

'hough some improvements will doubtless be made in the engines 
and in the models of the vessels, yet the great gain will be by in- 
creasing the tonnage, for the reason that the size, and consequent 
room for engines and coal, increases much faster than does the op- 
position cauiKd by the water and the air. 



Thomas Ewbanx, Esq., the present C<N(nmissioner of Patents, has 
communicated to the Journal of the FnmkUn InstUmU an account of 
-some experiments made on the paddles of steamers, for the purpose 
of ascertaining the best form and material for them. He thinks that 
there can be utile doubt that the greater the velocity of a steamer's 
wheels the fewer (within certain limits) should be the blades, and 
that in many of our boats the number might be advantageously re- 
duced. One blade in the act of plunging, another sweeping und^ 
the shaft, and a third leaving the sur&ce, are all that is necessary to 


be kept ap, and a greater namber, as regards the speed of a boat, are 
positively injurious. In most of our Teasels, the paddles are much 
too numerous, there often being 28 and 32, which are sometimes in a 
manner split, and thus doubled in number. The Cherokee (Savan- 
nah steamer) has six blades below the sur&ce when ready for sea. 
The Washington has five fully immersed on each side. A boat never 
progresses in the ratio of the revolutions of the wheels, because of 
the yielding nature of the medium in which they act. Thus in going 
from New York to Liverpool, a distance of 3,023 miles, the paddles 
of the ocean steamers pass over a distance varying from 5,000 to 8,000 
miles. This can be in a measure modified by giving the paddles a 
better hold of the fluid they sweep through, and Mr. £wbank recom- 
mends various forms for them ; but the principle in general is, that 
as the propelling power of the paddle is greatest at its lower or out- 
er extremity, and diminishes to nothing at the surface, so its hce 
should enlarge with the dip and be nothing or very small above. Thus 
the common forms of paddles are seen to be entirely wrong, and the 
best form would be triangular, as is the case with the tails of fishes 
and the webbed feet of the sea-swimming birds. The propelling 
virtue of blades expands and contracts with their thickness, it being 
greatest when they are reduced to the thinnest plates consistent with 
the strains they must oppose, so that metallic plates will probably soon 
be substituted for the thick wood planks. Again, the sharper the 
dipping edges of the paddles are made, the more back water they 
throw off at the point where its departure is most beneficial, so that 
here again metal has the advantage. The sharp edges in paddles 
are similar in their nature to the mere film which forms the tails 
of fishes. It has been usual to assert that the thicker the paddles the 
better, because they do no harm, and add to the weight of the wheels, 
so as to make their motions more uniform ; and acting on this view, 
our steamers have had their paddles made of plank from 1^ to 3 
inches in thickness. In the Cunard steamers they are 2| inches, in 
the Franklin, of the Bremen line, 2^, and in others, such as the At- 
lantic and Pacific, of the Collins Liverpool line, they are to be 3 
inches. In the Atlantic, the paddles, if united, would form a solid 
mass 7 feet thick, equal to one fifth of the diameter of the wheel. 
They are to be 12il feet long by 34 inches, so that they contain near- 
ly 500 cubic feet of timber, and at every revolution they must displace 
this enormous body of water by their submersion alone, not only use- 
lessly, but with a serious retardation of the vessel's headway. In the 
Pacific, the loss is even greater, and in every revolution of each 
wheel her paddles will lose 7h feet of efifective stroke, to the 7 feet 
loss of the Atlantic. In like manner, the loss in the wheels of the 
United States is from 10 to 15 feet of the efifective stroke in every 
revolution. It can easily be seen what a saving would be effected by 
using |-inch iron instead of 3-inch plank. Plates of steel are the 
best material, combining strength and thinness. A great loss in the 
power of the paddles is caused by having projections, such as bolts, 
nuts, stays, &c., on their faceis. If any material could be found which 
would durably prevent the paddles from becoming wetted, they would 


oerry over less water, and here also there woaM be a saving of power 
or a gain in speed. The above resalts, obtained by Mr. Ewbank, are 
very surprising, and it is to be hoped that our mechanics, in their 
striving afier a six days' passage across the Atlantic, will not over- 
look IwB suggestions. 


Mr. John Mills, Jr., of Springfield, Mass., has invented a new 
paddle-wheel, which so operates the paddles as to make them dip ver- 
ticaUy in the water, and then leave it in a vertical position. The pad- 
dles therefore move on axles, and are allowed by their own gravity to 
swing free while not in the water, but at the moment they enter the 
water vertically, (which they will do on a perpendicular line with the 
centre of gravi^,^ a stout arm on each side grasps the outer side of 
the paddle and holds it firm while it is passing throuch the water, and 
then releases it, so as not to raise any back virater. These stout arms 
to do this are secured on the radial arms of the wheel, and are oper- 
ated by having their ends revolve in a groove of a stationary eccentric 
cam, secured around the shaft of the wheel. The groove in the 
cam guides the arms that grasp and retain the paddles, to catch and 
let go the paddles at the exact point required. — Skientijic American. 


A LARGE wheel has been manufactured at the Union Works at Pat- 
ersoD, for Don Rubio, capitalist and manufacturer in Mexico, for his 
factory at Queretaro. It measures 66 feet in diameter, or 200 feet in 
circumference, being the largest wheel in the world, except one in 
Scotland. It has 169 buckets, 9 feet long, and its weight, including 
the cog-wheels for regulating the speed, is near 200 tons ! It wiU 
make two entire revolutions per minute, and its power is that of 100 


The wheel is the invention of a Mr. Tingle, of New York. The 
paddles are of sheet-iron, and instead of being fixed at right angles to 
the arms of the wheels, consist of two parallel plates vertical to the 
water, and so contrived, that when the paddle enters the water it as- 
sumes the form of a bucket, or of the covers of a book open at an 
angle of 40 degrees ; the plates move upon a pivot, and as the pad- 
dle rises from the water, the plates again become parallel, and the 
water escapes. 

The advantage of this wheel is, that the power is efiectually exert- 
ed at the right point, and that it lifts no water when rising, which is 
the great objection to the ordinary paddle-wheel. A trial was made 
which was quite satisfactory. The wheels were, properly adapted to 
a boat 32 feet long, and worked by two men, with a crank and band. 


With a coitipany of IS porsoDs, the passage from Hoboken to Jersey 
City was made in 16 mimites, against wind and tide. The wheels are 
5 feet in diameter. 


Messrs. Stevens, of Philadelphia, have built a steamboat on a new 
model, which may perhaps be best described by giving their specifica- 
tion of claim in applying for a patent. 

«' What we claim as our invention is applying air to the immersed 
surface of a vessel in motion, as described, and thus we interpose, by a 
continuous or intermittent supply, a stratum of air between the im- 
mersed surface or portions thereof of the vessel and ^e water, for 
the purpose of reducing the friction of the water. We also claim the 
recesses on the immersed surface of the vessel, formed by the scales 
or other irregularities, or any thing substantially the same, when com- 
bined with the supplying of air, for the purpose of distributing the 
air, and for retaining it more peifecily and for a longer time between 
the surface of the vessel and the water ; but it is to be understood 
that we do not claim those recesses independently of their connection 
with the use of air to reduce friction. We also claim the plates over 
the air apertures, to reduce the pressure required for the discharge of 
the air, but this we claim only when air is used as a means of redu- 
cing friction. We also claim the apertures made in the stem of a ves- 
sel, communicating with the atmosphere by pipes or other conductors, 
for the purpose of diminishing that resistance produced by the motion 
of the vessel from the motion of the water, commonly called the suc- 
tion of the stem ; we do not claim the use of these apertures except- 
ing in connection with paddle-wheels, screws, or other propelling 


- We copy from a London journal an interesting account of a new 
steam-frigate, recently constmcted for the British navy. Her length 
from the figure-head to the taffrail is 270 feet, while that of the keel 
is 221 feet 4 inches ; her greatest breadth is 41 feet, and the depth 
29 ; the tonnage is 1,979 tons. She is called the Simoon, and is pro- 
vided with a screw-propeller of 16 feet in diameter, which is driven 
by two engines of 360 horse-power, which are placed below the sur- 
face of the water, in order that they may be protected from shot in 
time of action. The manner in which she is built, with reference to 
strength, is somewhat peculiar. The keel and stern are of solid iron 
bars, 9 inches deep by^ 5 thick, and the stem is of one piece of this 
breadth and thickness, and upwards of 40 feet in length. The stem- 
posts are of iron of the largest size, and the frames are of large-sized 
angle-iron, and are placed at short distances apart ; the floor-pieces at 
the bottom of the frames are 2 feet deep. On the top of the floors 
there is a large box keelson, formed of iron, extending fore and aft the 
ship/ The outside plates or skin of the ship are one inch in thickness 

34 ANifUAL or soixirTiFio DiaooTsmr. 

at the bottom, dimmiBhing to three qnarten of tn inch at die top of 
the side. The main and spar decks are four inches thick, laid on iron 
beams of large dimensions, to which are connected large iron shelf- 
pieces and stringers, with water-ways formed of timber extending all 
round the decks, and connected with the sides of the ship. The 
armament for the spar deck will be two swivel gtins of 112 cwt. each, 
and fbor of 56 cwt., all for firing shot or shell of eight inches diaQi> 
eter ; there are also two 33-pounden of 25 cwt. each. For the main 
deck there are twelve 32-pounder8 of 56 cwt. each. The screw-pro- 
peller is so fitted that it can be disconnected from the engines and 
raised on deck through a trunk fitted through the decks for that 

This is in point of tonnage the largest iron frigate ever built, and 
the laraest ship of that material ever launched, for it must be remem- 
bered that the leviathan, the Great Britain, was not launched, but floa^ 
ed into the water. 


The United States steamship Susquehanna, at Philadelphia, will 
be ready for launching early in the spring. She is thirty feet longer 
than the great ship of the line, the Pennsylvania. Her breadth of 
beam is much less, and her tonnage is but 2,600. She will carry but 
eight guns, of heavy calibre ; one of them, which will be placed upon 
her bow, will throw hollow shot weighing 268 pounds. Her ma- 
chinery will cost $300,000, the four boilers alone $30,000 each, 
and the whole vessel, when completed, about $600,000. Her crew 
will consist of about 300 men. — Journal of Commerce. 


The greatest work of modem times, undertaken as a public im- 
provement, and not directly as a war measure, was the project by the 
Emperor Nicholas of Russia for a line of railway to connect the 
great capitals of the empire. The distance was generally stated at 
500 miles, but the location of the railway has been efifected in a dis- 
tance of only 420 miles. The plan adopted contemplated the con- 
struction of a road perfect in all its parts, and equipped to its utmost 
necessity, regardless of expense or. of the time requisite to its com- 
pletion. The estimates were on a scale of imperial grandeur, and 
contemplated the expenditure of thirty-eight milUons of dollars. The 
work was intrusted to Col. George W. Whistler, with unlimited 
authority, and forty millions of dollars set aside for the work. Seven 
years was the shortest estimate made for the time of its completion, 
and all parts of the work were so distributed as to give time for every 
thing to take its appropriate position when requir^. These advan- 
tages were fully appreciated by Col. Whistler, and all his plans were 
matured upon a scale of comprehensive economy suited to so impor- 
tant an undertaking. The line selected for the route had no reference 
to intermediate localitiw, and is the shortest one attainahlft without 


sacrificing more valuable Teqniiements for the road. It ia nearly 
straight, and passes over so level a coantry as to enconnter no obsta- 
cles requiring a grade exceeding ttoenty feet to the mile, and most of 
the distance is upon a level. The road-way taken is/o«r hundred feei in 
width throughout the entire length ; the road-bed is elevated from six to 
ten feet above the ordinary level of the country, and is thirty feet wide 
on the top. The road is laid with a double track, a five-feet gage, 
and a rail of sixty-nine pounds to the lineal yard, on a ballasting of 
gravel two feet in depth. The bridges have no spans exceeding tuH} 
hundred feei^ and are of wood, built after the plan of *' Howe^s Im- 
proved Patent^" so well known on the New England roads, with a 
truss twenty-four feet in depth. The work had so fi&r advanced at the 
time of Col. Whistler's death, that a large portion of it will be in use 
the present year, unless this event shall delay the prosecution of the 
work. Under these circumstances, the death of Col. W. was re- 
ceived in this country with a universal expression of sympathy and 
sorrow. It is fortunate, however, that the enterorise is so far com- 
pleted that his fame and his works are safe from the accidents of time 
or of change. His successor will share largely in the same American 
8[nrit that he possessed, and will see no reason to change or modify 
any thing that had been attempted by a man who united to the rarest 
mechanical genius the most eminent practical ability. 

We have derived from Mr. W. ll Winans, who has recently ar- 
riyed from Russia, some particulars with reference to the equipment 
of this road. Mr. Winans is one of three American gentlemen, who 
have the contract for equipping the road. They have already si^ 
plied it with 162 locomotive engines, averaging 25 tons' weight ; 72 
passenger cars ; 2,580 freight cars ; and 2 imperial saloon carriages, ca- 
pable of carrying the Imperial Court of Russia. This equipment has 
been built in Russia, in shops furnished by the government, and sup- 
plied vdth Russian labor, with a few American mechanics to oversee 
the work. The whole contract with Messrs. Harrison, Winans, & 
Eastwick has amounted to between 4,000,000 and 5,000,000 dollars. 
They engage to instruct Russian mechanics to take charge of the en- 
gines when completed. 

The engines aro of two classes ; 62 are 8-wheel engines for pas- 
senger travel, and 100 8-wheel engines for freight. The passenger 
engines are of one uniform pattern throughout, so that any part of a 
machine will fit the same position on any other. They have each 4 
driving-wheels, coupled 6 feet in diameter, and trucks in front similar 
to the engines on the New England roads. Their genera] dimensions 
are as follows : — Waste of lx)iler, 47 inches ; length of tubes, 10i| 
feet ; number of tubes, 186 ; diameter of tubes, 2 indies ; diameter of 
cylinders, 16 inches ; length of stroke, 22 inches. The freight en- 
gines have the same capacity of boiler, the same number and length of 
tubes, with 3 pair of driving-wheels and a pair of small wheels in 
front The driving-wheels are only 41 feet diameter, with 18- inch 
cylinders, and 22-inch stroke, all uniform throughout in workmanship 
and finish. 

The passenger can have the same uniformity. They are all 56 


feet in length by Oi feet in width, and divided into three classee, the 
first class carrying 33 passengers, the second class 54, and the third 
class 80 passengers eacL They are all provided with 8 truckrwheels 
each, with elUptic steel springs. The freight cars are all of them 30 
by 9i feet, made in a un&brm manner, having 8 wheel-trucks under 
each. The imperial saloon carriages are 80 feet in length and 91 
feet in width, having double trucks with 16 wheels under each. They 
are finished into jive different compartments, the imperial mansion in 
the centre, 25 feet in length, fitted up with every luxury for sitting or 
reclining, and with every comfort that the most ingenious mind can 
devise, or the most refined taste can desire. Spacious platforms are 
provided in front and rear. The whole cost of them excels $ 15,000 
each. The depots at each terminus, and the station-houses and engine- 
houses along the line, are on a plan uniform throughout, and on a 
scale equally imposing. Fuel and water stations are placed at suitable 
points. Engine-houses are provided at the distance of 50 miles apart, 
Duilt of the most substantial masonry, of circular form, 180 feet in di- 
ameter, surmounted with a dome, containing stalls for 22 engines 
each. Engines are to run from one engine-house to another only un- 
der one heat, and are run back and forth from station to station, so 
that they are kept constantly in charge of the same persons. Repair- 
shops are attached to every engine-house, furnished with every tool or 
implement that the wants of the road can require. Engine-drivers 
have to go through the appropriate training before they are allowed to 
take charge of an engine, and every arrangement provided that skill, 
experience, or ingenuity can demand. — American Railroad Journal, 

We may perhaps be allowed to add, that the contract price for the 
engines was a little over $ 9,000 each ; and if the contractors were 
not obliged to pay a duty on the steel imported, they could send en- 
gines to England at a profit. The cars are of the same kind as our 
American cars, thus differing from any others in Europe. When the 
question between the short English and the long American cars was 
brought up in the Council on Railroads, Col. Whistler stated his opin- 
ion, which was violently opposed by every one, but the Emperor cut 
short Uie discussion by telling Col. W. to do as he chose. — Editors, 


One of a new kind of locomotive, for burning anthracite coal, has 
recently been placed upon the Boston and Worcester Railroad. It is 
invented and manufactured by Mr. Ross Winans of Baltimore. 

The engine, which is named the ** Carroll of Carrollton," is of 28 
tons' weight, with 2 driving-wheels, 7 feet in diameter, and 8 support- 
ing or truck wheels, the driving-wheels being in the centre. It is 
constructed for burning anthracite coal, and has a fire-box 6 feet in 
length, 3i in width, and about 2 feet in depth, which will contain at 
least a ton of coal. The fire-grate is composed of stout, separate 
bars, so arranged as to permit the firemen to turn them and shake out 
the ashes, even when the doors of the fire-box are closed. 

Another and material improvement has been attempted in the con- 


stniction of this engine, by which the pressure or tractiTe power of 
the driving-wheels may be increased or reduced, as the grades or other 
circamstances may require ; in other words, the weight of the machien 
may be distributed so as to fall equally upon all the wheels. The ad- 
hesive power of the drivers may thus be graduated from 6,000 to 
25,000 pounds. Where the maximum of traction is required, as in 
starting a heavy train, or in ascending a steep grade, the whole power % 
of the machine may be made available ; while on a level or descend- 
ing grade, the pressure or weight of the engine may be reduced or 
distributed over all the truck or supporting wheels. It is obvious that 
if the traction can be thus varied and adapted to circumstances, a 
great saving may be effected in the wear and tear of the rails. Wheth- 
er any difficulty will arise from concentrating the pressure upon a sin- 
gle point, as must necessarily be the case when it is mainly applied to 
the two driving-wheels, experience must detennine. We understand 
that the idea is new with Mr. Winans, and that he has patented the 
improvement, as well in Europe as in this country. 

The qualities of the engine were tried with a single car only, to 
Worcester and back. It is calculated for great speed, but no attempt 
was made to test its capabilities in this respect, £ilthough for a short 
distance a speed of 60 miles an hour was attained. As far as can be 
judged from a short experience, the machine has realized all that was 
desired from it. The use of anthracite coal in locomotives, if it can 
be successfully effected, will be a great improvement, in respect to 
convenience as well as economy. It is calculated that in this engine 
one ton of coal will be equivalent to two cords of wood. — Boston 


We find in a. lat^ number of the London Railroad Gazette^ a com- 
munication on the subject of the use of steam as a propelling power 
on common roadS. The writer says that it is agreed that steam-car- 
riages on common roads are perfectly practicable and safe, and he cites 
several Parliamentary reports, which prove them to be so. The only 
difficulty has been the liability of the carriages to get out of order, and 
the great cost of repairing them. Sir James Anderson, after 30 years' 
study, and the expenditure of a large sum of money, has, it is said, 
succeeded in perfecting a steam-carriage, which will remove every 
difficulty hitherto met with. The improvements claimed are in " con- 
densing the steam and using distilled water," ** in working the steam 
expansively to its utmost power," " in preventing all loss of heat from 
radiation," '* in suspending the carriages and machinery on springs," 
" in applying elastic wheels to prevent shocks," *' in the mode of 
working the engines at their maximum speed," ** in preventing the 
slipping of the driving-band and lateral friction from the journal of 
the wheels," ** in using common coal as fuel and consuming the 
smoke," **and in reducing the expense of working by dispensing with 
water-stations along the road." No doubt is entertained of the entire 
success of this new steam-carriage, and long and seemingly conclusive 



reasons are given for its saperiority over other machines of the same 
sort. It can be worked for about a quarter of the expense of rail- 
ways, though of course not at so great a speed as is attained on the 


The London Mechanics^ Magazine describes some newly patented 
improvements in locomotive engines and in marine and stationary en- 
gines. They consist, 1st, in converting reciprocating rectilineal mo- 
tion into rotary motion ; and 2d, in converting rotary motion into re- 
ciprocating rectilineal motion. 1 . Upon the revolving shaft is fixed 
at right angles a lever, to the other end of which, and on one side, is 
attached a small rectangular block. On that side of the lever which 
carries the block is a square metal plate containing two slots, one 
horizontal and the other vertical, which intersect at right angles in the 
centre of the plates. The revolving shaft passes through the vertical 
slot, so that the plate may travel freely up and down over it. The 
block (which is somewhat longer than the breadth of the vertical slot) 
is placed in the horizontal slot. Supposing the lever to be upright, 
slightly deviating from the perpendicular, which is parallel to the ver- 
tical slot, and that a downward motion is communicated from a steam- 
engine to the plate, to the full extent of the vertical slot, the result 
will be that the block will travel from the centre to the end of the 
horizontal slot, that the lever will assume a position the reverse of the 
one in which it was ^J^st placed, and that the main shaft will have 
made half of an entire revolution. The dead centre is then overcome 
by a fly-wheel, and an upward motion given to the plate, whereby 
the revolution of the main shaft is completed, and the lever brought 
back to the first position ready for the second operation. 

2, The arrangements for converting rotary motion into reciprocal 
rectilineal motion are the reverse of those above described. When 
the rotary motion is to be communicated to the end of a crank-shaft or 
crank-pin upon a wheel, the vertical slot may be dispensed with, and 
the horizontal one only used, or a groove may be substituted for the 


At the meeting of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in Lon- 
don, on July 25th, Mr. Ramsbottom, of Manchester, read a paper 
''On an Improved Locomotive Boiler." He began with some intro- 
ductory observations on the fact, that the absolute power of the loco- 
motive is directly proportioned to the quantity of steam which the 
boiler can produce in a given time. All recent improvements in boil- 
ers have been tending to obtain a greater amount of heating surface 
without increasing the length or diameter of the boiler, or making it 
oval. To effect this object the author proposes to construct a copper 
fire-box with an arched roof, whose top would be nearly as high as the 
cylindrical part of the boiler. With such a box the whole of the 


cylindrical part of the boiler coald be filled with tnbes, as the longitu- 
dinal stays could be removed. By this arrangement 325 tubes of^ 3 
inches external diameter could be used, the shell being 3 feet 8 inches 
in diameter and 10 feet long. The total heating surface of the fire- 
box is 80 feet, and of the tubes 1,177. This arrangement involves 
the necessity of keeping the boiler full of water, and it then becomes 
necessary to provide a separate steam-chamber. This consists of a 
cylinder 18 feet long and 20 inches in diameter, fixed over and paral- 
lel to the cylindrical paitof the boiler. This tube has a cubic capac- 
ity of 28^ feet, and has two communications with the boiler ; it is 
proposed that the water shall occupy about one fourth of the tube, 
leaving the remaining 21 cubic feet for steam. Some discussion took 
place upon this plan, and it was objected that there would be a ten- 
dency to " prime " in such a boiler, but it was also suggested, that 
this might be remedied by having a more continuous communication 
between the generator and the cylinder. 


Mr. George W. Whistler, a son of the late distinguished engi- 
neer, has made a very valuable report on the use of anthracite coal in 
locomotives, containing the results of experiments and observations 
made by him on the different kinds of fuel in three difi!erent varieties 
of locomotives on the Reading, Pa., Railroad. The three locomotives 
were an anthracite coal one, built by Ross Winans, of Baltimore, a 
condensing engine, the Novelty, also burning anthracite coal, and the 
ordinary wood engine. He records 17 trips of the Baltimore coal en- 
gine, 5 of the Novelty, and 3 of the wood-burning engine ; the quan- 
tity of fuel reckoned as consumed is always the difference between 
that taken at one end of the road and that remaining at the other. 
The Baltimore engines, in their 17 trips from Richmond to Pottsville, 
and vice versd, consumed 79.9 tons of coal, equal to an average of 4.45 
tons per trip up, and 4.95 tons per trip down, or 9.4 for the round trip. 
The average load down was 90 cars, with 450 tons of coal. The coal 
used was the ** Forest Impr6vement," much of which is fine, with 
dirt Intermixed, so that the waste amounts to about half a ton per trip ; 
but Mr. W. deducts 5 per cent, from the gross weight, which leaves 
exactly 76 tons for the 17 trips, and 9 tons for each round trip. The 
Novelty condensing engine consumed in 5 trips 28. 1 tons, equal to 
5.62 tons for every up trip, 5.63 for the down one, and 11.25 for the 
round trip, or, deducting 5 per cent., 10.7 tons for the round trip. 
The average load down was 75 cars, with 375 tons of coal. The In- 
diana wood engine consumed 7 cords for every up trip, and 7.37 for 
the down one, making the wood used per round trip 14.37 cords. The 
average load down was 88 cars, with 440 tons of coal. The return 
load was always about one third of the gross weight of the train 
brought down. Wood costs $4 per cord, and coal $2.75 per ton of 
2,240 pounds. Mr. Whistler, who is perhaps somewhat prejudiced, 
says ojf the Novelty engine, '* I could but agree in the opinion gen- 
erally entertained and expressed, of its entire inq>raeticability." 


The expense for repairs in the coal-baming engines is considerably 
more than that for the wood-burning ones. This is caused by the rapid 
burning out of the fire-boxes, grates, &c. When iron (whose sound- 
ness is at present always uncertain) was used entirely in the fire-box- 
es, the intense local heat very soon burned away the sheets near the 
fire, and also the joinings of the sheets were affected. To obviate 
this latter difiiculty, larger sheets were used, but this only increased 
the first trouble, and findly copper sheets directly about the fire were 
resorted to. The^e, however, do not last long, and the expense for 
repairs is large. The repairs have hitherto cost about $456 per 
annum for each engine, but Mr. W. thinks this can be reduced to about 
$ 380. If we caJculate the price of fuel as stated above, the saving 
in the coal engines would be as follows, allowing for 100 round trips 
per annum : — wood engine each trip costs $57.48 ; coal, $25.85 ; 
the excess of cost of wood per annum is $3,163 ; deducting extra re- 
pairs, we have $2,787 as the actual saving in the Baltimore en- 

These engines being on a new plan, and burning a new fuel, labor 
under great disadvantages, having no previous experience to guide 
them ; but there can be little doubt that in a few years anthracite coal 
will be used as fael in locomotives on many of our railroads with a 
saving over wood. 

Tyler's safety-switch. 

This switch, the invention of Mr. P. B. Tyler, of Springfield, 
Mass., possesses all the good qualities of tlie old gate-switch, and has 
none of its imperfections. It seems fully to accomplish its object of 
preventing the train from running off the track when the switch is set 
wrong, either by design or accident. The single-rail or gate-switch is 
established as the best and safest for the ordinary purpose of shifting 
the cars from one track to another, but it is liable to the serious objec- 
tion of leaving one track open or broken. Mr. Tyler's improvement re- 
moves this evil, and, while it accomplishes this important office, leaves 
the switch in its original simplicity of a plain, unbroken rail, connect- 
ing one track with the other. An important feature in this safety- 
switch, which distinguishes it from all others designed for the same 
purpose, is, that the safeguard, or portion intended to protect the 
switch, is always in position, and requires no action of the train to 
place it right when it comes upon the open track ; thereby avoiding 
all reliance upon the movement of complicated machinery, which may 
be displaced by ice, gravel, flaws in the material of which it is made, 
or any of the known obstructions to such apparatus. It presents no 
obstacle to the cow-catcher, snow-plough, or scraper, and^ requires no 
change in the economy of the road more than the ordinary gate-switch. 
The exact nature of the switch can probably be best understood by 
giving a portion of the " claim " made in applying for a patent : — 
** The principle of this invention consists in constructing the movable 
parts of the switch with an additional branch, between which and the 
true switch there is an inclined plane and a guard on the outside, so 


that when the switch is set wrong, the cars cannot run off the track." 
The safety-switch has been introduced upon the Hartford, New Ha- 
ven and Springfield, the Boston and Providence, the Boston and Low- 
ell, and other railroads. 


Both of these improvements are the invention of Mr. Baines, who 
described them before the Royal Society, where they excited consid- 
erable interest. The peculiarity of the chairs consists in an arrange- 
ment whereby the joints are prevented from rising or getting out of 
the line, and the rails from driving forward. To effect these objects, 
the outer jaw of the chair is made to fit close up to the under side of 
the head of the rails, but the inner jaw is only of sufficient height to 
clip the bottom flanch, and the rail is not fixed by a key, but by a square 
wrought-iron dowel-pin, which passes through a hole in the outer jaw 
of the chair and a corresponding notch in the end of each rail. This 
pin has a large flat head, and under the head is placed a wrought-iron 
piate, 9 inches long, which fits close up to the head of the rail on the 
inner side, and rests on the chair. A square cotter or wedge is then 
driven vertically through the outer end of the dowel-pin, which draws 
the whole firmly up to the outer jaw of the chair. The wrought-iron 
plate is three quarters of an inch thick in the middle, tapered to the 
ends, and slightly cambered or arched, and is sprung fiat by driving 
the cotter, which is made long enough to drive through the bottom of 
the chair into the sleeper, and serve as the spike on the outer side of 
the chair. A slot is made in the upper part of the cotter, to allow it 
to be drawn out when required. The pressure of the wheels has no 
tendency to loosen the fixing of the rails in the chair, as the outer jaw 
fits close to the head of the rails, while the bottom flanch is firm- 
ly clipped by the inner jaw, as we have before mentioned. The 
dowel-pin does not receive any of the pressure of the wheels, but 
holds the rails against the outer jaw, and also prevents them from ris- 
ing at the point and from driving forwards. The effect of the long 
plate under the head of the dowel-pin is to connect the two rails stiff- 
ly together, so as to prevent the working of the joint. 

Another part of the invention is an intermediate chair, whose jaws 
are alike, but set obliquely, instead of opposite each other. It is slip- 
ped endways on the rail, and then twisted at right angles to it, which 
causes it to grip it firmly between the jaws. It is held by means of 
spikes. The improvement in switches consists principally in making 
the tongue about half an inch deeper than the rail, so that it may work 
under it, by which means steadiness is secured. During the discus- 
sion which took place, it was stated that an experiment had been tried 
with the chairs for nearly a year on the Norfolk line, where the whole 
of the ballast was taken away from the joint-sleeper, and there was 
then only a slight deflection, so that the trial was entirely satisfactory. 
— London Mining Journal, 




Mr. Henrt Smith has within a short time read before one of the 
London Societies, at the request of its council, an account of the 
principle of a new solid wrought-iron wheel of his invention. His 
method may be briefly described as follows. In the first place, a 
straight bar of hammered or rolled iron is taken, about 4 inches wide, 
and long enough to form a hoop of such diameter as is most suitable 
for the form of the intended wheel. Other pieces of bar iron, laid flat 
and close together, and cut in lengths to the same circle as the hoop, 
are then taken to form the base of a '* pile." The hoop is next placed 
upon this foundation, and filled with scrap iron, after which the whole 
is put into a heating-furnace, and when at the proper heat is hamper- 
ed to form a mould, the face of the hammer being so recessed as to 
form an approximation to the shape of one side of the finished wheel, 
but of a smaller diameter. Two of these moulds are then put together, 
back to back, heated in a similar way, and .hammered between tools ^ 
of the same form and size as the finished wheel ; but these tools em- 
brace only a segment of about one fifth of the whole wheel, and the 
mould must therefore be turned round during the process. The 
wheel is then put into an annealing furnace, and planished between 
tools like those mentioned above. After this, all that is necessary is 
to bore out the centre. By this method any description of iron or steel 
cau be used for the tire of the wheel, insuring a clean wearing surface 
and a compound character of fibrous and granulated iron, which it is 
believed no other wheels afford. One of the wheels was exhibited, 
and when struck had a remarkably clear, bell-like sound. The ham- 
mer used was of 9 tons in weight, and the weight of the wheel is 4} 
cwt Some discussion followed as to whether it would not be better 
to make the tire a disk, but no conclusion was come to, though all 
agreed that, independent of the tire, the wheel was a most excellent one, 
and many thought that the tire could not be changed advantageously. 


Mr. John Lane, of Liverpool, has just completed an ingenious ar- 
rangement of breaks and buflfers for railroad cars, some experiments 
on which have proved highly satisfactory. The first operation was to 
show the powerful and immediate effect of the new breaks, or stop- 
pers, which, by a mere pull at a lever-handle, so effectually locked a 
pair of wheels in each car, that from a high speed they came to an al- 
most instantaneous pause. In the absence of diagrams, we can but 
state that this break locks simultaneously the wheels of all the car- 
riages that follow the first, by means of an ingenious continuation of 
the arrangement of piston-rods, springs, and other machinery, all be^ 
ing simple in construction, and therefore not liable to get out of order. 
The break itself, when in operation, clips around a drum in the middle 
of the axletree of the two wheels in each car to be stopped. The 
whole is placed under the car-bodies, and the single operation of pull- 
ing the break-handle in front effects the stoppage of every car in the 


train, so that there is no overstraining of any one pair of the wheels. 
The buflfer consists of a cylinder and piston working* through a stuf- 
fing-box, the piston-rod carrying at its terminus the baffer-head. The 
cylinder is filled with water, and is connected by a small tube with 
another cylinder, containing air, which is above it. When the bufier 
strikes any object, the water is forced up into the cylinder, and by the 
elasticity of the air acted on by the water, the engine and train are 
arrested without injury, and there is not the least shock on the re- 
bonnd. A strong bulk-head of timber was fixed in the angle of the 
Wjall, which formed the terminus of the temporary railway, and the 
passengers in the cars, after being v^heeled along as if they were to 
be dashed against the wall, received only a gentle shock. — London 
Mining Journal. . 


The object of this invention is to supersede the present system of 
attaching and detaching railway cars, and it is called the *' double- 
ratchet clamp." The utility of such an invention will be obvious to 
every railroaid traveller, when he contrasts it with the present defect- 
ive method. The links by which the cars are fastened together are 
so constructed as to prevent any " play " between them, more than 
that allowed by the buffer-springs, so that the jolting which now takes 
place at any sudden stop is completely avoided, while the time neces- 
sary for coupling and uncoupling is much less than at present, and it 
is not necessary to go between the cars, thus avoiding all danger. 
The cramp coi^sists of two trucks, or hoops, connected by what is 
termed a right and left-handed screw, the peculiarity of which is, that 
by turning it in one direction the links are drawn closer together, 
and by turning it in the other they are extended. It is worked by an 
ingeniously constructed toothed wheel, fixed to the middle of the 
screw,* about which a lever is provided with a click and spring for the 
purpose of taking hold of the wheel, in which it is allowed to traverse. 
All the room required for the action of the cramp is about 7 inches for 
the traversing of the lever, and when being used it is hooked to the 
side-chains of the car, and by its action the buffers are compressed and 
the cars drawn closer together ; the connecting link is removed or at- 
tached with great ease and much saving of time. It is the invention 
of two gentlemen connected with the Northwestern (England) Rail- 
road, who have ^erefore had an opportunity of seeing the defects of 
the present system. 


A COMMITTEE of the Franklin Institute, to whom was referred for 
examination the new surveying instrument of M. Villeroi, which is 
intended to give the distances between the stations by means of a sin- 
gle observation through the instrument, without the use of a chain, or 
any other measuring apparatus, have reported that " it is a valuable 
addition to our surveying apparatui§." The instrument consists of an 


ordinary telescope, having attached to its eye-tube at the inner end 
aaoUier tube of equal dimensions, and divided througnout its whole 
length by a vertical partition. At the end of this tube next the eye- 
piece is placed a ring containing a bisected lens, the two halves of 
which are equally inclined on opposite sides of the vertical plane, per- 
pendicular to the axis of the telescope. The eye-tube is itself divided 
by a vertical diaphragm, which abuts against this system of semi-lenses 
and is prolonged very nearly to the eye-piece. In adjusting the in- 
strument, these two diaphragms must accurately coincide in the same 
plane, which is arranged by turning the screw which connects the two 
tubes. The target-staff has two targets projecting at right angles to 
it on opposite sides, the lower half of each being colored black, and 
the upper white. The upper target is stationary, and from its centre 
line a graduated scale proceeds downwards along the staff as far as is 
necessary. The lower target slides upon the staff, and carries an in- 
dex opposite to its centre line, which indicates the degree of gradua- 
tion to which its position corresponds. When in operation, the rays 
from the upper target, which fall upon the object-glass, will form an 
image of the target in the instrument, from which image the rays will 
strike upon the two inclined lenses, so as to form an image above or 
one below the axis ; unless, however, the inclination of the lenses to 
the vertical plane perpendicular to the axis be very small, these two 
images will be too far apart to be both in the field of the instrument at 
the same time. Suppose only the lower one is visible. The lower 
target will also produce two images, of which the upper one will be 
in the field of the instrument, and by sliding the lower target up or 
down we can find a position in which the images of the two targets 
oofncide, and their central lines then appear as one horizontal line 
crossing the staff. Now, by the mathematical theory of the refraction 
of light through lenses, when this is the case the distance between 
the lines will be so nearly proportional to the distance of the target 
from the instrument, that the error in assuming it to be really propor- 
tional is so small that it may be overlooked, especially as it dimin- 
ishes with the increase of the distance. The accuracy of this instru- 
ment depends upon the care exercised in determining the exact point 
of coincidence of the two lines, and on the precision in reading the 
scale. The rapidity with which the work is done is very great, and 
the committee think that in rocky, bushy, or marshy grounds, it will 
be of great use, as well as where distances across sheets of water are 
to be measured. 


This instrument — the invention of J. R. St John — is the admira- 
tion of all our scientific and literary men who have seen its opera- 
tions, and it received the gold medal of the American Institute last 
year. It is of the simplest construction, and while it does not inter- 
fere with the use of the compass as now practised, it merely gives an 
addition by which the deflections of the needle, from whatever causes 
produced, are accurately marked, and the corrections from the true 
geographical meridian at all times shown by simple. inspection. 



Captain Eldridge, of the ship Liverpool, carried this compass from 
New York to Liverpool and hack, and it determined the changing 
variations during the voyage. We understand a stock company \<rith 
ample capital has been organized (of which Professor James Ren- 
wick is President) to bring this invention to the notice of the scien- 
tific minds of Great Britain and the Continent as soon as patents are 
secured for those localities. 


An important improvement in the manufacture of guns has lately 
been made in Prussia, but the secret is so strictly guarded by the gov- 
ernment that it is difficult to ascertain any thing ^concerning it, though 
some facts have leaked out. The musket has no lock, and is loaded 
at the stock end of the barrel. The ball is long, cone-shaped, and 
rounded at the larger end, while' the barrel is slightly rifled ; but the 
grooves are perfectly straight, and not spiral, as is the case in our 
guns. By this means, much of the force of the powder, which is 
usually expended in giving the ball a rotary motion, is saved, and the 
ball is consequently thrown to a much greater distance. Indeed, it is 
said that with half the charge used in a percussion musket, it will 
carry the ball to the mark at a distance of 900 yards. The fire is 
communicated from the side of the barrel, instead of from the breech, 
and this is accomplished in the following manner. The portion of 
the cartridge next the ball is filled with an explosive substance which 
resembles that used in percussion caps, and this is caused to explode 
by the contact of a small piece of steel, which passes from the out- 
side of the barrel through the cartridge, and this contrivance has 
gained for the gun the name of the " nail-firer." An experienced 
soldier cannot discharge a percussion gun more than three or four 
times in a minute, and in the confusion of battle, one is all that can 
be counted on in that time, while this new gun can easily be dis- 
charged eight times in a minute. It is evident, that, from the long 
distance to which it throws the ball, this Prussian gun could be dis- 
charged many times before an enemy armed with common guns could 
get within shooting distance. It will be seen, therefore, that if this 
can really be brought into practical use, it will work a revolution in 
war. Tiie Prussian government seems to be convinced of its use- 
fulness, for fifty thousand of them are being manufactured for the 
army, and some were successfully used in quieting the late insurrec- 
tion in Baden. — London AthemBum for September. 


SoMB experiments have been lately made near London for the pur- 
pose of exhibiting the advantages and power of a new harpoon gun, 
with which some of the South Sea whaling vessels have been provid- 
ed. To show the simplicity of the invention, the patentee went into 
a whale-boat and with the very small charge of four drams of 
powder projected the harpoon, with a line attached, a distance of 23 


Ilithoms in a straight and unerring direction. A second time it was 
thrown to a distance of 30 fathoms, where it struck a hag of cork. 
This gun has been used on board of the Favorite, a whaling ship, 
with very great success, and during one voyage, though she had but 
one gun and three harpoons, 14 sperm and a large number of right 
whales were shot with it, some of them being killed on the spot. 


This rifle, known as Jennings's Patent Rifle, is designed to be an 
almost endless repeater, and to avoid the great difficulty of capping or 
priming each load, and also to be uncommonly free from dirt. In ap* 
pearance the rifle is of the ordinary size, without encumbrance of any 
kind. Its weight is no greater than the ordinary weight of a common 
gun, and it only difiers from the latter 'externally, in having an iron 
breech with a wooden stock, which breech is handsomely finished and 
engraved. By a simple contrivance within this stock, the breech-pin 
of the barrel is opened as the ^un is cocked. A cartridge (of which 
we shall speak) is placed in this opening, and on pulling the trigger, 
the pin closes the barrel tight, a strong block of steel falls behind it, 
and the gun primes itself and is discharged all at one motion. There 
is nothing complicated in the machinery, but, on the contrary, it is so 
simple that it can hardly by any accident get out of order, and in case 
of such accident, any worker in iron can repair the break. By this 
contrivance a rifle is made capable of being loaded at the breech as 
often as it is fired off, and as rapidly as a man's hand can move to 
throw in a cartridge. This is at the rate of twelve shots per minute, 
for a person who has practised with the gun ; a velocity sufficient to 
make one man fully equal to a dozen armed with ordinary rifles. 
Another variety of the same gun is now nearly completed by the pat- 
entees, which diflfers not at all from this in external appearance, ex- 
cept that in place of the ramrod is a tube of the same size, capable of 
containing twenty-four cartridges, which, by a very simple contriv- 
ance, are so arranged that they are placed in the barrel, one by one, 
and fired successively, without any interruption. The moment that 
the twenty-fourth ball is fired, this gun may be used as the first one, 
loaded at the breech, and be fired at the rate of twelve in a minute. 
But the chief strength of this formidable weapon rests on the car- 
tridge which is used, and for which the gun is expressly manufactur- 
ed. This cartridge, i^hich is also patented, is simply a loaded ball. 
A hollow cone of lead, or rather a bullet elongated on one side in a 
hollow cylinder to about one inch in length, is filled with powder, and 
the end covered with a thin piece of cork, through the centre of 
which is a smaU hole, to admit fire from the priming. As each ball 
goes out, the cork cap remains in the barrel, and is carried out in front 
of the next ball, sweeping thoroughly all the dirt with it The gun 
may thus be discharged from forty to fifty times, in good weather, 
without needing a s^ab. The barrel may be detached at a single 
blow of a hammer or stone, and a swab run through it in a moment, 
at any time ; the opef ation of cleansing occupying no longer than tho 



ordinary loading of a common gun. The priming of the rifle is in 
small pills, of which one hundred are placed in a box, from which the 
^un supplies itself without fail. — Journal of Commerce. 


Monsieur Vandenberg, of Brussels, has invented a new gun, said 
to be far better than the famous Prussian fire-needle gun. From six 
to eight discharges can be made in a minute ; the carrying distance is 
from 2,000 to 3,300 feet ; the ball weighs about one ounce and a quarter, 
and the powder is one twelfth the weight of the ball. An ordinary 
gun requires three times more powder, although the ball does not 
weigh half an ounce. The new gun is loaded from the breech. The 
shape of the ball is round, not conical, as in the Prussian gun. 


There is now in operation, at the Arsenal in Washington, a ma^ 
chine for making percussion caps, which is spoken of as being supe- 
rior to any other in use. A sheet of copper, 14 by 28 inches, is placed 
upon a plane surface, called a ** table," and the motive power being 
applied, the sheet, by an alternate motion, passes under the cutting 
die, which forms perfect caps, and then throws them into holes around 
the edge of the " charging-plate." This plate, which has a rotary 
motion, is about eighteen inches in diameter. It carries the caps 
round upon it, passing them successively under a cup containing the 
percussion powder, from which a sufficient charge drops, with entire 
regularity, into each cap. A little farther along is a very fine punch, 
which presses the powder home, and thus completes the process of 
making, and after being carried on a short distance, they are thrown 
out by a small machine into a funnel, through which they fall into a 
drawer beneath. Thus, by the same unchanging motion, the cutting 
die is furnished with the material, the caps are cut out, loaded, 
pressed, and thrown into a drawer, at the rate of 4,000 an hour, with 
the labor of only one person. 


At the siege of Venice by the Austrians, during the past summer, 
an attempt was made to bombard the city by means of balloons, the 
numerous marshes and lagunes in the vicinity preventing the near ap- 
proach of artillery. Five balloons, each twenty-five feet in diameter, 
were launched with a favorable wind, and directed as nearly over the 
city as possible. To the cars were attached five bombs, communicat- 
ing) ^y means of a wire, with a large galvanic battery, placed on a 
favorable station, on the ground. On the balloons attaining a nearly 
vertical position over the point of attack, the fusees were ignited by 
cutting the wire, the bombs falling perpendicularly, and exploding on 
reaching the ground. The experiment, although ingeniously carried 
out, proved a failure, the bombs producing little efiect, other than 
frightening the inhabitants of the city. 



A NEW method has been resorted to at the cannon-foundery near 
Pittsburg, for the production of guns. Instead of bringing tliem 
from the mould solid, and afterwards boring them, they are cast with 
the proper bore ; the core being carefully prepared so as to inclose a 
circle of cold water, which it receives and discharges in a continuous 
current, during the process of cooling, the object, probably, being to 
chill the inner surface more rapidly than the outer, and thereby give 
to it a greater density and strength. The plan is the suggestion of 
Lieutenant Rodman, and two guns — one cast on the old and the 
other on the new plan — having been subjected to the usual tests, the 
first exploded on the 84th, and the latter on the 255th round. This 
shows a great superiority over the common mode of making cannon, 
and if future experiments substantiate the successful one, Lieutenant 
Rodman's invention will come into general use. 


Mr. Smith, of the firm of T. Otis Leroy & Co., New York, has 
invented a new mode of manufacturing shot, which entirely removes 
the necessity of having the expensive towers now in use. In the 
ordinary process, the lead, after being dropped, in a fluid state, from 
a perforated vessel, falls from the top of the tower to its base, and the 
tower must necessarily be of considerable height in order to give the 
shot time to cool before reaching the reservoir of water at the bottom. 
But by the new process the liquid lead descends through an upright 
circular pipe, arranged over a reservoir of water, and near the bottom 
is a fan wheel, which produces a constant current of air that meets 
the lead in its descent, and while it tends to decrease the rapidity of 
its fall in some degree, it also imparts to it a sufficient degree of cold 
to solidify the shot efiectually, before they reach the reservoir, vf^hence 
they are transported to the drying table, by means of an endless band 
of buckets, or elevators. — New York Pathfinder. 


Mr. "Whishaw presented some links of a full-sized pipe for inclos- 
ing the wires of electric telegraphs under water. The pipe was 
formed of links connected together by sockets, each link varying, ac- 
cording to circumstances, from 18 inches to 24 inches in length, and 
from 1 inch to 2^ inches internal diameter, according to the number 
of wires to be inclosed. These pipes, being of wrought-iron, are ex- 
ceedingly strong, and are required merely as a protection to the 
wires, which are previously insulated by moans of gutta percha. 
Pipes- of somewhat similar construction are laid under the Rhine and 
other rivers in Prussia, — where the underground system of telegraphs 
is adopted by the Prussian government (already to the extent of 
1,200 miles), — although many of the railway companies suspend the 
wires between posts, as practised in England, America, France, &c. 
— Proceedings of the British Association. 



A HIGHLY useful and important machine for the cutting and dress- 
ing of stone has been invented and patented by Mr. Charles WilsoD, 
a mechanic of Springfield, Mass. it is remarkable for the simplicity, 
as well as the rapidity, of its operation, while the surface it produces 
on the stone is far more true and smooth than that where the chisel 
is used, — so much so, that it would not pay to employ machinery 
in making the final finish, it being so easily rubbed down by hand. 
The wear of the cutters is much less in cost than that of chisels, 
and the stone is left perfectly sound, not being the least '* stunned," 
as the phrase goes. The following is a brief description of the ma- 
chine : — 

** From eight to twelve circular plates of steel, seven inches in di- 
ameter, and as thick as a common circular saw of that size, are placed 
alternately with iron washers one fourth of an inch thick and half an 
inch less in diameter than the plates. These washers and plates, be- 
ing firmly fastened together, form a compact cylinder or broad wheel, 
termed the * cutter,' presenting to any surface over which it is rolled 
numerous steel edges, one fourth of an inch apart and one fourth of 
an inch deep. Two of these cylinders, being each supplied with an 
axis, are set to revolve in an iron ' head,' which is made to pass 
briskly back and forth across the stone as the latter is slowly moved 
along by a process like that used in saw-mills. The cylinders, taking 
only such motion as is given them by being rolled over the stone, — 
the same motion as that of a carriage-wheel on a road, — crumble the 
surface of the stone on their way to a powder, with a power which no 
granite can withstand, taking away a very little each time, but com- 
ing very oflen, and effectually doing the work. The cylinders are set 
in the head at an inclination of about 25 degrees from a horizontal line, 
about the same angle as that of the chisel when struck by the mallet, 
and so as to cut away the stone by a beveled edge." 

In a recent exhibition of the working ff this machine, a block of 
red sandstone, from the valley of the Connecticut, was placed on the 
'* bed," and submitted to the action of the chisels. In eight minutes 
its surface, 4 feet long by 1^ broad, equal to 6 superficid feet, was 
dressed smoother and more even than the common chisel could have 
done the work, and this with a moderate speed of the machinery. An 
engine of two or three horse-power is sufficient to drive one machine. 


This machine, the invention of an Englishman, consists of an iron 
cylinder, which receives the clay at the top, and passes it through a 
number of knives, which are fixed to a centre-shaft, which act as tem- 
perers of the clay, and press it into a curiously-shaped screw. This in 
turn gives pressure to a chain of moulds, which passes up an inclined 
plane and delivers the finished bricks on a table. The entire motive- 
power is communicated by the upright shaft in the cylinder. By the 
application of an engine of three horse-power, the machine will make 



20,000 bricks in 10 hours ; but it may also be worked by any other 
motive-power, and it can be moved from place to place. It is suited 
for making common and fire brick and tiles. 


A COMMITTEE of Congrcss last year had, for some time, models of 
two or three machines for taking the yeas and nays, under examina- 
tion, and they finally reported in favor of one which is the invention 
of Mr. F. H. Smith, of Baltimore. It consists of a metallic case, two 
feet longand one broad, which is designed to be placed on the clerk's 
table. This case is composed of an upper and a lower steel plate, 
through which small pistons of steel, equal in number to twice the 
whole number of members in the House of Representatives, play per- 
pendicularly ; they are divided into equal sets, one being intended for 
the yeas, and the other for the nays. Between the two plates, and 
above the pistons, when not in operation, a roll of the House, special- 
ly adapted for the machine, is easily inserted, with the words yea and 
nay printed on the right and left of each name. This roll, when in- 
serted between the plates, is readily adjusted by a gage, so that when 
one of the pistons is put in operation it ascends through the paper and 
cuts out the " yea '* or " nay," as the case may be. The pistons are 
connected with the members' desks by means of wires passing under a 
false floor, where they are connected with two ivory keys, on which 
are engraved the votes corresponding to the pistons with which the 
wires are joined. The keys work by depression, like those of a piano. 
By the insertion of an additional plate in the case, the machine can be 
so controlled that no member can move his keys before or afler the 
time allowed for voting. The roll must, for the purposes of the ma- 
chine, beprinted in the order of the seats, and not alphabetically, as 
usual. The objection to this and all machines of the kind, however, 
is, that there is no way of detecting any derangement in the machine- 
ry, and a member may suppose that he is voting, when in reality the 
pistons do not work. * 


There is now in New York city a new sewing-machine in daily op- 
eration, which, as far as it has been tried, has entirely answered the 
purpose intended. It has not, however, it is believed, been used ex- 
cept upon coarse material, and where the seam to be sewed is nearly 
straight. It is thus described in the New York Tribune : — 

*' On turning a crank with one hand, the machine sews seams of 
any length and any desired curve. The stitches are perfectly even 
and tight, and may be taken of any length. The work to be sewed 
is fastened in a sliding frame and gaged so that the needle shaJl strike 
the point of commencing the seam. The eye of the needle is near 
the point, and as it pierces the material the thread is carried through 
and caught by a hook, which holds it till the second stitch is made. 
It then dbrops the first, taking up the second and bringing it through it. 


80 that each stitch is looped upon the one behind it, the whole forming 
an interlinked chain. At the factory there are several machines, most 
of them employed in making salt-bags. About 15,000 are manufac- 
tured daily for the salt-works in this State. One machine will make 
from 800 to 1,000 bags per day." 


Two citizens of Gardner, Me,, claim that they have made an inven- 
tion which is destined to effect a revolution in wool-spinning. It is 
well known, by those who are acquainted with this kind of manufac- 
ture, that wool cannot, like cotton, be drawn out and then twisted, but 
that it must be done by the same operation. The present method of 
performing the work is by means of '' jacks," which take the wool or 
roping that has previously been prepared by the cards, and spin it into 
thread for warp or filling. The " jacks " occupy a large space, and re- 
quire a great amount of labor and care to work them. !out this new 
machine wholly dispenses with the ''jacks," and the thread is both 
drawn out and twisted by the operation of this *' revolving draft and 
wool-spinner." One of these machines occupies a space of only 4 
feet 6 inches by 3 feet, and contains 20 spindles. It is claimed, that i| 
will do the work of 50 spindles on a '' jack " which occupies a space 
of 10 feet by 7. In other words, 50 spindles of the " jack " occupy 
78 square feet, while the spinner occupies ISJ. There is, besides 
this saving of space, a great saving of labor, as more work is per- 
formed with less manual assistance, and also a saving of power. 


Mr. George H. Dodge, of Attleborough, Mass., has invented a 
valuable improvement in machinery for spinning winding-yarn, being 
a combination of the self-acting mule and throstle, and having many 
advantages over the common method of spinning, and equally appli- 
cable for BUing and warp. In the room usually occupied for 1 ,000 
mule-spindles 1,500 may be placed, which will do the work of 3,000 
spindles. It occupies the usual space required for warp-spinning, but 
will, it is said, spin 50 per cent, more yarn to the spindle than the 
best ring-bobbin spindle in use, and with a saving of two fifths of the 
power. It is estimated to spin 100 per cent, more yam than the 
flyer spindle, and with one half the power compared to the quantity. 
The spindle is more durable than the common one in use, being ta- 
pered to the top', and there being no bobbins or check-pins used, it 
maintains its baJance at any speed required. It is not liable to get 
out of order, and is much more convenient to piece up the ends when 
broken than the bobbin-frame. Messrs. Dodge & oons have their 
entire mill upon this method of spinning, and say, that, from twenty- 
nine years' practical experience with other spinning, they believe it 
to be the best in use, and know that it is worthy the attention of 

They are daily producing more yam from 9,330 spindles than they 


were able to do from about 4,600 epindles of the old plan commonly 
need, and have averaged the product of the above 2,320 spindles for 
nineteen successiye weeks, without making any allowance for stop- 
pages, or hindrance from other causes, and have spun 61,287^1b«. 
yam, No. 30, — seven skeins to the spindle, — per day. -* Hunt^s Mer- 
chants* Magazine, 


Mr. Andrew Kinloch, the first man who ever weaved at a powei^ 
loom, died lately in Manchester, at the age of 90 years. In 1793, 
he set up the first power-loom in Glasgow, the propelling power 
being his own hand, and, after an outlay of $500, produced 90 yards 
of cloth. Shortly afterwards he removed to Milton Printfield, where 
forty looms were erected under his direction. In 1800, he went to 
England, setting up looms in various places in Lancashire, and more 
than once was in great danger of his life from the hand-loom weav- 
ers, who were jealous of his new invention. The power-loom re- 
mains as it was when he first invented it, with the exception of a few 
slight improvements. 

impeovements in the mantjfactuee of caepets. 

Several new improvements in the manufacture of carpets have 
been intioduced into the English factories. One by Mr. Whytock, of 
Edinburgh, consists in employing printed warp in such a manner that 
all the wool is brought to the surface ; and the substance of such 
carpeting, in place of consisting largely of wool, as heretofore, de- 
pends on a less costly, but stronger material. By this invention the 
simplest loom only is required ; and the designer is in no way re- 
stricted as to variety of color. Any design of the artist may be 
executed, however many colors may be required, — increased num- 
bers of colors not enhancing the cost. The peculiarity of this pro- 
cess conasts in printing the separate yams of which a warp is to be 
composed ; and this is done in such a manner, that each yarn having 
had its colors applied thereto, and the proper number brought to- 
gether, side by side, to constitute a warp, the desired pattern is pro- 
duced. Each yam is wound on a cylinder of large diameter, having 
a graduated scale thereon, so that children (who apply the colors) , 
having pattern-papers before them, have only to notice what colors 
are on the successive divisions of the pattern-papers, and to apply the 
colors, in succession, by passing color-rollers across the surface of 
yam wound on the cylinder, — thus making simple marks of color 
on the yam, at intervals, which being accordmg to the designs on the 
papers, when the several yams constituting a warp come together^ 
the pattern is produced ; and the warp being woven into a fabric, with 
raised pile, by the use of wires, the most beautiful and varied results 
are obtained. 

Another improvement lately introduced consists in printing Bnis- 
sels carpets by a process similar to block-printing, using rollers, how- 


ever, in place of blocks. Several specimens have been exhibited , 
which give considerable promise. The difficulty of printing- Brussels 
carpets consists in getting the color to penetrate into the pile with- 
out spreading. TMs is ooly to be accomplished by repeated impres- 
sions ; — hence the difficulty of using blocks or rollers, so that they 
shall keep register with different colors, and at the same time repeat 
accurately several times on the same surfaces. This difficulty, it is 
believed, has been overcome by the above invention. — Proceedings of 
the Eoyal Institution, 


The most extensive manufactories in the United States axe at Thom- 
sonville, Conn. They use 10,000,OOOlbB. of wool, and 10,0001bs. of 
flax-yarn per annum. They manufacture three-ply, Brussels, and Ax- 
minster carpeting of the richest patterns, the weaving, at present, being 
mostly done on hand-looms; they are, however, about introducing 
power-looms into the factory, for weaving rugs and Axminster car- 
pets. The wool for Axminster carpeting is first woven into a web, and 
afterwards cut in strips, forming what is called chenniele card ; this 
is done upon a machine, invented by Messrs. Davidson and Parks, of 
Spriuff field, Vt., which is the first and only one of the kind in the 
United States. The machine has over 200 cutters, or knives, which 
are attached to a cylinder, making some 300 revolutions, and cutting 
two iiill yards of the web per minute into strips, which being passed 
oyer a grooved cylinder, heated by having hot irons inserted within 
it, is prepared for weaving. Besides this large carpet-establishment, 
there is in this village a factory, 100 by 43 feet in dimensions, and 
five stories high, for the manufacture of knit shirts, drawers, and 
fancy ginghams. This establishment has about 30 sets of wool-cards, 
and 35 or 30 gingham looms'. •— Scientific American. 


Mr. James M*Kenzib, of Schenectady, N. Y., has made some im- 
provements on the carpet-loom, which are claimed to be important* 
They consist, 1st, in a new mode of arranging and operating the 
shuttle-boxes; 2d, in a new match-motion, or way, graduating the 
let-ofiT speed of the v«rarp-beam, «nd the take-up sp^ed of the cloth- 
beam ; 3d, in a new stop-motion. The shuttle-boxes are of a difier- 
ent form and motion firom both the sliding and the rotary boxes now 
in use, and are termed quadrant boxes. They are quarto rotative, 
and are shifted by a back spring at any point desired, being set for 
this purpose. The match motion is difficult of explanation ; the 
principle of it consists in having a guide apron or rest, pressing by a 
spring against the warp and against the cloth-beams, and according 
as there is more or less yam on the one beam and cloth on the other, 
to require a corresponding increase of surface motion on the warp- 
beam, and a decrease on the web-beam, a blade from the lathe at 
every stroke is so guided by the guards or rests on the warp and web 



beams, as to move a ratchet lever the exact distance required in gath- 
ering round the teeth of the beams to graduate the let-off and take-up 
in unison. The stop-motion is a double-finger one, which, when the 
thread breaks, at once detaches a crank-lever, which throws the driv- 
ing-belt on to the loose pulley and effectually prevents all breakage. 


Mr. Geo. W. Perciy, of Fall River, Mass., has invented a new 
mode of combining and operating a picker for power-looms, which 
has been in operation for some time, and has proved a valuable im- 
provement in the weaving art. The picker moves continually in a 
straight line in the raceway of the lathe, obviating the use of the 
common horizontal spindle, on which the picker runs, and it is also 
much more easily taken out and put in, besides being less complicated 
and expensive than the picker in general use. This picker is made of 
a rectangular form, to slide on the raceway freely in the shuttle-box. 
It has an opening through the middle, through which passes the 
picker-staff, driving the picker by moving reciprocally in a longitu- 
dinal slot cut in the raceway of the shuttle-box. The picker-stsSf is 
not secured to the picker, but merely has its upper end passing freely 
through it, and a flange is secured on the top of the shuttle-box, pro- 
jecting inwards, so as to prevent the picker from being raised up. 
The picker-staff has a reciprocating motion from a pivot-axis below, 
at its base, by which it is secured to a vertical standard attached to 
the shuttle-box. The top of the picker-staff, therefore, describes con- 
siderable arcs, but as it passes freely through the picker it moves in a 
straight line with but little friction, especially since the ends of the 
opemngs of the picker are made in a curved form, which allows the 
picker-staff to roll in it, but yet to move the picker according to the 
parallel motion of Watt. The picker-staff may even be dispensed 
with, owing to the form of the picker, and a simple tenon secured to 
the same by passing down and being connected with a central wag- 
staff by a cord, may answer every purpose, in a more simple manner, 
but with somewhat more friction. — Scientific American. 


One million of envelopes are daily manufactured in the British 
Islands. Each of these requires to bie cut and folded with precision. 
The former operation is performed partly by a patent cutting-machine, 
and partljr by means of a sort of large hollow chisel, ^e cutting part 
of which is exactly the shape of the required envelope. The folding 
was, till within a recent period, entirely done by manual labor, but 
latterly by a folding machine, the invention of M. de la Rue. By 
means of the admirable precision and rapidity of this engine, forty-two 
envelopes can be folded in a minute. The machine consists of, — 
1. A table J or metallic surface, of the exact size of the envelope 
which is laid on it, and which moves on a verticad plane. 2. A cor- 
responding surface, called the box, which, descending on this table, 


creases the enTelope, and then opens so as to permit the partial folding 
of it. 3. Four folders, two of which press down the corresponding 
flaps of the enyelope before the box is entirely raised ; the two others 
follow with their pressure, after the remaining portion of the box is 
lifted up. 4. Two finger-shaped projections, made of caoutchouc, 
which, owing to their property of adhermg to a paper surface, never fail 
to carry off each envelope as fast as it is folded. Though there are 
twenty-two movements for folding each envelope, and each succes- 
sively performed with great rapidity (the several motions succeed- 
ing each other), there is no blow or jar of any kind in the working 
of the machine. This is the . effect of a regulation of velocity pro- 
duced by cams. 

In connection with this subject, we would also call attention to an 
ingenious contrivance for identifying a letter with its envelope, recent- 
ly introduced into the Post-Oifice Department of Great Britain. It 
consists of a set of perforations which, when the Post-Ofilce stamp is 
used, cause some portion of the ink to press through the envelope to 
the inclosed letter, so that, when the two are put together, they com- 
plete the lettering of the stamp. 


There is in operation, in Philadelphia, an ingenious machine for 
the manufacture of envelopes, an article which, within a few years, 
since the alterations in our postage-laws, has come into great demand. 
The process of the manufacture is thus described. A pile of paper is 
first laid under the cutting-press, and the flat forms of the envelopes 
are 'cut out at once. These are then taken to the folding-machine, 
which is one of the most singularly constructed and beautiful pieces 
of mechanism we have ever seen. It requires but one person to feed 
it, and performs all the rest of the operations itself; for the paper, 
cut in proper form, being placed in a fixed position, is seized by nip- 
pers and drawn forward to a bed, where it is held. firmly by an over- 
hanging plate of metal, which covers just so much as marks the size 
intend^ to be made, leaving the parts to be folded over loose. The 
sides are then, by means of plates advancing towards each other, fold- 
ed over, and, as they retire, a roller covered with gum passes under 
the surface of ii double curved piece of brass, which instantly falls 
upon the paper, and, as it rises, another plate^ turns over the inside 
fold, while at the same time a roller presses on it and causes adhesion. 
This being done, the bed on which the envelope rests falls to an in- 
clined position ; and, being caught between rollers, the finished article 
is passied through a trough into a receiving basket. The only re- 
maining labor is to gather the envelopes up and sort them into pack- 
ages of twenty-five each. The whole is done with great rapidity, and 
so various and contrary are the motions of the machine, that it ap- 
pears almost to be in some degree sentient. 



A PATENT for a new floating filtering-pamp has recently been grants 
ed, in England, to Mr. S. Cheaters, of ianoolnshire. Its adTantages 
are to procure a pure and wholesome, as well as an abundant suppTj ; 
results which, it is believed, have not hitherto been combined in a 
pump. The inyentor states that the floating filterin^<pump has 
been tested in a tidal river, and is now used in an extensive brewery 
in Spalding, where it ftimishes an abundant and constant supply of 
wholesome water, entirely free from sand-filth, which the old leaden 
pipes, by being placed nearly to the bsttom of the water, were in the 
constant habit of contracting, thereby preventing the engine from ob- 
taining a suflicient quantity of water for the supply of the brewery ; 
and, as a still greater proof of its utility, it may be added, that it has 
been frequently surrounded by the weeds and rubbish carried down 
the river, and yet has never, in one single instance, failed to produce 
a copious supply. Water is purer and sweeter at the surface than it 
is at the bottom, and the floating filter totally ejects filth of every 
description, such as worms, &c., and all impurities of the smallest 
kind. The common pump, in consequence of the pipe descending 
within six or eight inches of the bottom, draws up with the pure 
water every pernicious sediment within its reach. On the other hand, 
the floating filter, by taking a supply of water within four or six 
inches of the surface, and rising and fiilling with the water, at once 
secures it from all sediment ; and should there be any Ught filth float- 
ing in the same, the filter totally ejects it, and wiU supply hundreds of 
tons of pure and wholesome water daily, if required. The patent « 
filter may be fixed to tanks and butts, so as to remove all apprehension 
of unwholesomeness in the water, by any impurity drawn up with it. 
The filter can be attached, without difficulty, to pumps of the old con- 
struction. — New York Farmer and Mechanic, 


La Patrik, of Paris, while paying a compliment to one of our 
American mechanics, Mr. Hoe, of New York, gives a description of 
the working of his new printing-press, which we insert, instead of 
one which we had ourselves prepared. 

** This press, the invention and manufacture of Mr. Hoe, prints 
off 133 copies in a minute. It often exceeds this number, because its 
Telocity and swiftness depend upon the speed with which the work- 
men are able to supply the sheets of paper. When our journal, La 
Patrie, first began to use this press, the workmen, or feeders, were 
only able to feed it with 4,000 sheets per hour. But since they have 
acquired, by constant practice, greater skill in their work, they some- 
times supply the enormous quantity of 8,760 sheets per hour, which 
the machine of Mr. Hoe prints off. 

" It is now above four month^ since this press has been in constant 
use and operation in our office. The proprietors are so well satisfied 
with its performance, that they have given an order to Mr. Hoe for 


another machine of the same description and on the same plan. This 
machine will have six printing-cylinders, and will strike off 13,000 
copies in an hour ! 

" Notwithstanding the above astonishing results produced by Mr. 
Hoe's machine, yet such is its simplicity, that a few lines will be 
enough to explain the principle of this wonderful inyention. A 
horizontal cylinder, one yard and .35 in diameter, moves upon an axle 
which rests in its sockets. One fourth, or thereabouts, of the cir^ 
cumference of this cylinder constitutes the bed of the press, in which 
the chase containing the letters, or type, is placed ; the remaining por- 
tion of the cylinder is applied for the distribution of the ink. The 
ink is put into a receptacle underneath the great cylinder. The feed- 
ing-roller takes it off, and, by means of another roller, which has a 
vibrating, oscillating motion, it spreads it over the form upon the great 
cylinder. The feeding-roller revolves with a slow and regularly sus- 
tained motion, taking the ink gradually out of the receptacle in which 
it is deposited. When this large cylinder is in motion, the forms are 
made successively to come in contact with each one of the four hori- 
zontal cylinders, which are arranged at suitable distances round the 
great cylinder, to print off the four sheets supplied by the feeding- 
rollers. The sheets are laid hold of, direct from the edge of the sup- 
plying table, by iron hooks, fixed upon each feeding or depositing 
cylinder. The receivers of the sheets are supplied by means of 
wooden frames, which take them from the conducting straps or bands, 
and place them in a regular pile upon the four receiving tables. In 
front of each one of the cylinders there are two inking-roUers, which 
pass over the cylindrical surface devoted to the distribution of the ink, 
take up the ink upon their own surface, and lay it on the types by the 
rcTolution of the main cylinder. 

" Four forms are printed off at once by Mr. Hoe's press, each, form 
being in a separate and distinct chase. They are four superficial seg^ 
ments of a cylinder, detached from each other, and which are at plea- 
sure attached to or detached from the great cylinder. The usual types 
are employed on this press ; they are fixed upon the great cylinder, 
and revolve continually, without any danger of becoming loose, being 
retained in their place by a plan peculiar to this press. The great 
central cylinder, on which the forms are fixed, revolves from left to 
right ; whereas the four others, or pressing-cylinders, revolve from 
right to left. The paper is placed by the workmen in such a man- 
ner that it slips between the two cylinders on one side, and comes out, 
perfectly printed, on the other side, when, by means of suitable straps 
and bands, the sheets are arranged in a pile under frames, which rise 
and fall alternately." 

La Patrie also makes a curious calculation of work done by this 
press : — 

'* The journal. La Patrie, contains about 4,320 lines ; 8,000 copies 
make 34,560,000 lines. A scribe could write about three lines in a 
minute; therefore, it would require 11,520,00Q minutes, or 192,000 
hours, for a single scribe to supply 8,000 copies oi La Patrie; or, in 
other words, it would require 192,000 men to supply, by copying, the 


same amoant which Mt. Hoe's press supplies in one hour ! Thus his 
press accomplishes as much as it -would take the half, at least, of the 
whole French army to supply !" 


Another species of engraving has been brought before the public, 
to which the name of Chemitype Printing has been given. By this 
method an etching or engraving, made in metal in the usual way, 
may be converted into a high-relief stamp, to be used in printing on 
an ordinary press, as is the case with common wood-engravings. 
The following statement may in general illustrate the character of the 
invention. On a highly polished plate of pure zinc an etching or 
engraving is made in the usual manner, which, under common cir- 
cumstances, would be fitted for impressions on an engraver^s press, 
having the same harmony and proportion of all the respective etch- 
ed or engraved lines. The tracery, thus deepened, is now to be fused 
or melted down with a negative metal, and the original metal plate 
(zinc) corroded, or etched, by means of a certain acid, thus making 
the characters of the former drawing appear in the shape of a high- 
relief stamp. This efiect is only produced in consequence of the 
metal composition in the lines of the tracery not being acted upon by 
the acid, on account of the galvanic agency subsisting between the 
two metals, and the acid corroding only the zinc. 

After these details, there cannot be the least doubt of the specific 
difierence between the chemitype printing and glyphography, relief 
etching in copper, and other similar artistical processes and practices 
lately invented. Its principle rests upon the positive and negative 
nature of the metals. As every drawing on the metal plate is com- 
pletely exact on the relief stamp, the practice is absolutely independ- 
ent ; the exact and accurate representation of the original sketch is 
always to be expected. Wood-engraving cannot, in most cases, be 
superseded by this novel method ; but in many other instances the 
new practice is preferable, chiefly when colored printing is required, 
in the representation of maps, plans, architectural drawings, &c., &c. 
At the same time, the correction or improvement of any drawing can 
be much better executed than in wood-engraving. — Scienttfic Ameri" 


The inventors of this new machine for printing wall-paper, oil-cloth, 
&c., are Messrs. Gould & Shaw, of Newark, N. J. The machine is 
so made as to give to two blocks, placed in two plattens, an intermittent, 
reciprocating motion, so that two impressions are made during the for- 
ward and backward stroke of the piston that moves the blocks. It 
also supplies the blocks with color from two boxes, as well as feeds in 
the paper or material .to be printed, and takes it away. The principal 
machinery consists of two long tables, transverse to each other, one 
being the feeding-table, and the other the piinting^frame. At the end 


of the latter is a large drum, with a projecting eccentric flange, or 
rail, fastened to its periphery. The head of the piston, which moves 
the blocks, grasps this rail, but is guided in a straight line by a guide* 
rest, so that when the drum revolves, the piston-rod will be guided 
backwards and forwards by the angular part of the rail, but it will be 
stationary while that part of the rail around the end of the drum is 
passing through the jaws of the piston-head. This gives the piston- 
rod and blocl^ attached an intermittent reciprocating motion. The 
printing-blocks are secured to the plattens on the inside, but the latter 
are placed a little distance below the paper, and are secured to coiled 
springs at the corners, which allow the blocks to be pressed down, 
but raise them up when the pressure is removed. The plattens, 
therefore, have square stationary frames around them, all connected 
together, and slide along on the table guided by up-raised rails on 
each side, which fit into grooves in the platten-frames. From the 
framing above, three spring pistons *are suspended, which are forced 
down on the plattens to make the impressions during the inter- 
missions of the blocks. There are, therefore, four cams on the shaft 
above, the middle ones being double and the other two single. The 
side cams alternately press down one block on to color cushions to 
supply it with color, and the middle ones press down the block which 
makes the impression, so that the motion of the cams coincides with 
that of the piston-rods. Thus much for the operating of the blocks. 
The paper is fed under the blocks on the cross-table, between guide- 
plates. The paper passes through to a small catching-bar, which has 
a vibratory motion, and catches and lets go, to draw the printed paper 
from under the blocks, and to feed in unprinted paper for the next 
impression. The catching-bar is operated by crooked levers, secured 
to one of the block frames, and oscillating on a pivot fixed on a block 
of the feed-table. All the motions are thus in harmony with that 
of the drum, which works the whole. For certain kinds of work 
the advantages of this machine are apparent. — Scientific American^ 
No. 35. 


A MACHINE has been invented and patented in England, for the 
manufacture of printing-types, without fusing the metal and pouring 
it into moulds. The inventor, Mr. Petit, eftectB his process by the 
use of steel dies and matrices, which, by means of powerful pre»- 
sure, impress the letters and characters on copper, fashioned into 
quadrangular strips of an indefinite length, wound round a cylinder ; 
Uie type being struck, or punched, the same moment that its size is 
mathematically determined. The machine exhibited to the Royal 
Society, in June last, produced 32 types per minute ; but by the ap- 
plication of a small steam-engine to the type-making machinery, it is 
estimated that 60 per minute can be struck, or 36,000 per diem. The 
types thus produced possess the utmost sharpness of outline and 
hardness, in consequence of the superiority of the metal employed 
and the pressure to which they have been subjected. The harness 


of ordinary copper over type-metal is in the proportion of 100 to 1, 
and the density of the copper used in the manufacture of t3rpe is 
considerably increased by ^e compression which it undergoes in the 
machinery. A London firm, employed to print stamps for goY- 
ernment, is in the habit of using raised copper surfaces for the pur- 
pose ; — no less than 135,000,000 impressions having been taken from 
a single plate. It is impossible to say, at present, to what extent 
the new type will surpass that in use, as regards durability. They 
can, however, be produced much cheaper than even under the pres^ 
ent system. In proportion as founts of type decrease in size, they 
rise in price, but a decrease in weight, under the new system, will be 
accompanied by a diminution in cost; and when, ultimately, the 
sharpness and clearness of the type has been, by long use, deteriorat- 
ed, the metal will retain an intrinsic value far above what the present 
composition of metals now used for printing-types does in similar 
eases. The machine has received the name of the Apyrotype, and is 
undoubtedly one of the most important and most desirable inventions 
of the year. 


This machine is the invention of Benjamin D. Sanders, of Vir- 
ginia, and it is designed to separate the impurities in threshed grain, 
upon a different principle from that of the common grain-separators. 
Instead of forcing the chaff* from the good grain by means of a blow- 
er, a vacuum is created, the power of which can be regulated at will, 
by which every thing specifically lighter than the good grain is raised 
up into a receiver, while the latter is not raised off from the screens, 
but passes over them, and falls into a granary below. As soon as the 
vacuum is created, a current of air rushes from below, and its force 
must be regulated according to the height to which the impurities are 
to be raised. The good grain is thus deposited in a granary by itself, 
while that which is light is forced up into a receiver, and the chaff is 
entirely driven out from the machine. — Sdentiftc American^ No. 41. 


This new invention of Mr. Stephen R. said to be the 
most perfect machine of the kind, and will prove of the greatest ad- 
vantage to all branches of the cotton manufacture. The machine is 
of the simplest construction, and it seems a wonder that the idea had 
not been long since suggested. It is composed mainly of two cylin- 
ders, closely set together, a feeder, and the ordinary fan. The cotton 
containing the seed is thrown on the feeder, from which it is taken by 
the cylinders, which extract the seeds whole, the cotton being passed 
by the fan into a receiver. The quantity of cotton cleaned by this 
machine will far exceed that of the ordinary saw-gin now in use, and 
a third less power is required to keep it in operation. By this method 
the texture and length of the fibre are completely preserved, the value of 
the cotton will be greatly enhanced, and the intrinsic worth is increas- 


ed from a cent to a cent and a half per pound. It is calculated, that a 
thousand pounds of cotton can be extracted in the same space of time 
that is required to extract twenty-four pounds by the common saw-gin. 
The machine may be worked for ten years without requiring repair. 
— New York Farmer and Mechanic. 


A SERIES of experiments on the application of steam-power to the 
plough has lately been made near Reading, England. Some prac- 
tical and scientific gentlemen were present, and expressed their grati- 
fication at the success of this important improvement in the working 
of the plough. It can be used on any kind of land. 


D. P. BoNALL, of Tecumseh, Michigan, has recently made an im- 
provement in the process of manufacturing flour, which is claimed to 
be valuable. The Indiana Slate Journal publishes the following ex- 
tracts from a letter written by Mr. Bonall in reply to inquiries made 
of him in reference to the improvement : — 

*' My * improved process of milling ' consists in separating the 
starch part of the wheat from the glutinous matter, and submitting 
the latter to a second grinding. The way it is efifected is by placing 
an auxiliary run of stones so as to receive the entire body of the 
' offal,' on its passage from the upper or first merchant-bolts. The 
stones are fitted to run from 300 to 400 revolutions per minute, and 
the feeding o( the stuffs made uniform and perfect by a very simple 
combination of machinery. Afler the ' offal ' is thus ground, or 
severely scoured, it is then passed into the lower bolts, or dusters, 
when the flour is taken out and sent to the * cooler,' or first bolts, to 
be uniformly mixed, in regular proportions, with the superfine flour, 
and the remainder separated for feeds. 

'* The advantage obtained by this mode of grinding is as follows. 
1st. It enables the miller to grind high, or coarse, at the first grinding, 
and thus avoid injury to the ' starchy ' portion of the wheat, and in- 
sures free, good bolting, which is not always the case when attempt- 
ing to grind the starch and * gluten ' contained in the grain to the 
same consistency by one process, as the starch, which pulverizes easy, 
is apt to be too fine, and stick to the bolts, or else the *■ farina ' is too 
coarse and goes to middlings, or adheres to the bran, and is lost. 
2d. It enables the miller to grind wet or damp wheat better than any 
other mode, as the first grinding, which is high and free, warms the 
wheat, where, by elevating, cooling, airing, and bathing, the moisture is 
principally evaporated, and the * offal ' is partially kiln-dried, when, by 
submitting it to the quick grinding or scouring process, the flour is 
almost entirely * whipped out ' and put into the superfine barrel. 
3d. It catches all the broken particles of grain that escape the first 
grinding by stopping and starting, or from other causes, and equalizes 
the grinding, when any variations occur in the first mills or grind- 



ing. 4th. It adds to the superfine fioor that which was formerly 
' fine,' and thus saves the loss on sales in market. 5th. It saves 
grinding middlings, as the whole middling process is done hy^ one 
continuous operation, with a great saving of labor as well as time. 
6th. It enables the miller to make his barrel of superfine flour from 
four bushels of wheat, that will weigh 60]bs. to the bushel, and the 
flour is much better, as it contains much more of the ' farina ' of the 
wheat or glutinous matter, and will yield more good bread from a 
given quantity of flour. Flour ground on this process is now selling 
in Bufllilo as a superior brand. 

'* The double grinding evaporates more of the moisture, and has a 
tendency to preserve the flour longer from souring." 

The aggregate saving made by this improvement will, it is assert- 
ed, be from 15 to 25lbs. on each barrel of flour. 

A miller at Tecumseh writes that he has introduced this prooess 
into his mills, and has made nearly 4,000 barrels since then. He gets 
in Bufialo 12i cents more per barrel than any other Michigan flour 
is sold for, and considers that he saves SOlbs. of wheat in every barrel 
of flour, while the quality is much superior. 


M. BoLATTD, of Paris, has invented an ingenious instrument, called 
by him the Ale urometer, — the purpose of which is to indicate the 
panifiable properties of wheat- flour. The indication depends upon 
the expansion of the gluten contained in a given quantity of flour, — 
say 500 grains, — when freed, by elutriation, from its starch. A ball 
of gluten being placed in a cylinder to which a piston is fitted, the 
apparatus is exposed to a temperature of 150 degrees ; as the gluten 
dilates, its degree of dilatation is marked by the piston-rod. If 25 de- 
grees of dilatation are not obtained, the flour is rejected, — the best 
flour usually giving from 38 to 50 degrees. From experiments con- 
ducted by members of the French Academy, it appears that the dila- 
tation shows correctly the degree of deterioration which the wheat- 
flour has undergone, — and consequently the Aleurometer oflfers itself 
as an instrument of practical importance. The same principle may 
be applied to various other purposes ; indeed, a new alcohol-meter 
has been constructed, of a character similar to the Aleurometer. 


The London Traveller furnishes the following description of a new 
method of making and baking ship and other biscuits, lately introduced 
into the extensive establishment of Mr. Harrison, Liverpool. It is 
believed to surpass any other method now in use, as far as regards 
economy of time and material. The flour and water, in proper pro- 
portions, are placed in a cylinder, and the first operation of thoroughly 
mixing is performed by arms isside. On leaving the cylinder, the 
dough is kneaded by means of a large iron cylinder, under which it is 
passed several times. The required thickness is attained on passing 


beneath a smaller cylinder. The dough, spread out like a large 
sheet, then passes along an endless cloth, the machinery moving, at < 
each stroke, the precise width of a biscuit. As the dough passes 
along, by the rising and falling of a nicely adjusted piece of mechan- 
ism, the biscuits are cut into shape and receive the stamp of the pat- 
entee. The biscuits are not circular, but have six sides, and there-, 
fore there is not, in cutting out, any waste of dough, except a very 
small portion at each end. Passing along the endless cloth, the bis- 
cuits are conducted to the mouth of the oven, where they are re- 
ceived on a machine, which draws in the biscuits in a few seconds. 
Each oven is 4k feet in width, and 26 1 feet in length. There are four 
ovens, one above another, and all fed from the same furnace with hot 
air. The mixing of the flour and water occupies about 12 minutes, 
the kneading 5 or 6, and firing half an hour. As each oven contains 
650 biscuits, and they may be filled within a few minutes of each oth- 
er, there is no difficulty in producing, from flour and water, no fewer 
than 2,600 biscuits in an hour, or nearly a ton of ship-biscuits every 
two hours. The biscuits, too, are of excellent quality, — beautifully 
crisp and sweet. 


Sir Henry Hart, the Commissioner of Greenwich Hospital, has 
lately patented an invention for promoting the draught of chimneys,' 
and thus preventing them from smoking, while at the same time it 
aids the ventilation of rooms. The apparatus consists of a fan-wheel 
in the centre of the chimney-top, the axis being horizontal, immedi- 
ately on a level with the orifice. One half of the wheel thus projects 
above, and is open to the influence of the wind, while the lower half 
is shielded from it, and the wheel is therefore made to rotate with 
great rapidity, and acts like a screw to force up the smoke or vitiat- 
ed air from below. A diaphragm is placed across one half of the 
chimney to prevent any air being forced downwards, so that the 
smoke is confined to one half of the chimney. —^Albany Cultivator^ 


Fire-proof ceilings of wire-work have been successfully applied in 
place of lath, with plaster and stucco, as usual, at the Chester Lunatic 
Asylum. The wires are placed about a quarter of an inch apart, and 
the plaster forms an adhesive and serviceable mass, which is even on 
fboth sides. The wire is galvanized, or japanned, to prevent corrosion. 
Not only ceilings, one would think, but thin partitions and walls in 
general, might be wired instead of lathed, and the risk of fire would 
thus be greatly diminished by a process not at all costly. — London 



The Boston Gas-Light Company have just erected an immense 
new gasometer. It is 80 feet in diameter, 40 feet high, and the 
crown of the roof is 5 feet, making the entire height 45 feet ; its 
working capacity is 200,000 cubic feet. It weighs li6,0001bs. 



A COMMISSION, appointed by the French Academy of Sciences, in 
connection with the French government, whose object it was to dis- 
cover a paper to be used for bank-notes, deeds, &c. , which should 
resist the arts of forgers and counterfeiters, have reported to the 
Academy that their efforts have at length been crowned with success. 
They take a glance at the repeated endeavours which have been made 
to effect this desirable object, from which it appears that the experi- 
ments and investigations have been almost constantly going on since 
1826, during which period numerous plans have been submitted, to all 
of which there has hitherto been some objection. The successful 
competitor, M. Grimp^, has from the beginning sought to attain 
the desired end by means of a delible device extending all over the 
surface of the paper, and composed of lines too delicate to be repro- 
duced by hand, and which, being printed with delible ink, should be 
exposed to attack by all the agents which aiffect writing, and when 
once ef&ced, could not be restorable by the most skilful hand, or by 
any printing process. The principle, as improved and adopted, con- 
sists in covering the paper with a microscopic device, printed on both 
sides with delible ink by means of a cylinder. The nature of the 
device, the mode of engraving the cylinder, and the nature of the ink 
and paper, have, during the last eleven years, been the object of inces- 
sant discussion and stikly on the. part of some members of the com- 
mission. It has finally been concluded to engrave the device upon 
the cylinder by means of a steel roller, having the device upon it in 
relief, which, by strong pressure, reproduces it in intaglio upon the 
copper cylinder. Afler experimenting with various devices, such as 
concentric circles, hexagons, &c., microscopic stars have finally been 
decided upon. This device presents insurmountable obstacles to its 
reproduction by hand. The stars are produced by a single steel 
punch, or die, having a single star engraved upon it ; which punch, 
being highly tempered, is caused to stamp the stars all over a soft 
steel cylinder, which la then tempered, and can be used to reproduce 
the device, as often as required, upon other cylinders, especially cop- 
per ones. The cylinders to be printed from are now engraved in re- 
lief, instead of intaglio, as by the former method the ordinary writing- 
ink can be used, which is not the case when printing from intaglio. 
The commission also insist upon using paper made by hand, a sheet 
at a time, and sized by gelatine, which is always rather uneven on 
account of the water-lines and there being no division of the pulp. 
This sort of paper is much more durabte than any made by ma- 


Thus the grand object has been accomplished. In a few words^ 
M. Grimp^ has succeeded in covering the two surfaces of the paper 
(without changing its nature) with a device which cannot be imitated 
by hand, or transferred on to stone, and which can be printed with 
ordinary ink. The commission conclude their report by stating, that 
they have obtained undeniable proof that any stamp or device hitherto 
known may be imitated, but for obvious reasons do not mention the 
methods. — Comptes EendtiSy July 23. 


Mr. Spencer, of Western New York, has hitherto been almost the 
only person in this country who has turned his attention to the manu- 
facture of microscopes, and he has succeeded in producing some instru- 
ments of great power and excellence. Most of those, however, at 
present in use in this country are of foreign construction. About a 
year since, Mr. J. B. Allen, of Springfield, Mass, having had his at- 
tention called to the subject of microscopes, with true Yankee perse- 
verance and ingenuity, set about the construction of one of these in- 
struments. Although he had never seen but one microscope, and 
that only for a few minutes, and had never seen a piece of glass 
ground, he devised his own tools and processes, and in the course of 
a few months produced an instrument, which he exhibited to the 
American Association, at Cambridge, in September. The power of 
this instrument was about 1,300, and it received the most unqualified 
commendation of the distinguished men there assembled. Professor 
Agassiz, after a careful examination of it, made a report, in which he 
spoke in the highest terms of its excellence. This instrument was 
purchased by Amos Lawrence, Esq., of Boston, who liberally pre- 
sented it to the academy at Groton, Mass. 

By the advice of Professor Agassiz, Mr. Allen inamediately com- 
menced the construction of another microscope, with some improve- 
ments suggested by Professor A. This new instrument he completed 
in about three months. It was submitted to the inspection of Profes- 
sor Wyman, of Harvard University, who carefully compared it with 
a similar microscope manufactured by the celebrated Oberhauser, and 
by him exhibited as one of his best instruments. The American 
specimen was found to be fully equal, if not superior, to the Euro- 
pean, and there can be no doubt that it is the most excellent micro- 
scope ever produced in this country. 

It may not be improper to mention, that Mr. Clark, of Boston, has 
succeeded in producing very fine telescopes, and that excellent chro- 
nometers are now manufactured in this country. 


The sonometer is a simple and easily-managed instrument, and con- 
sists of a small bell fixed on a table. There is a pillar supporting a 
serrated bar, and kept in its place by a delicate spring, to which a 
small hammer is attached. This spring, being placed in the teeth of 



the setrated bar, is relieved by the handle being touched by the fin- 
ger, which regulates the extent of the sound fiom the ticking of a 
watch to the sharp, loud tone of a bell. This instrument tests with 
great accuracy the amount of hearing actually possessed by a person 
in every stage of deainess, so that its advantages must be evident to 
every one. 


At the last meeting of the British Association, the President ex- 
hibited a universal sun-dial, constructed by a gentleman in Dublin. 
It consists of a cylinder, set to the day of the month, and then eleyat- 
ed to the latitude. A thin plate of metal in the direction of its axis is 
then turned by a milled head below it, till the shadow is a minimum, 
when a dial in the top shows the hours by one hand and the minutes 
by another. It appears by this that the time can be obtained to the 
precision of about three seconds. 


This apparatus, the invention of a Frenchman, consists essentially 
of two parts, an instrument for puncturing the skin, and another for 
promoting the flow of the blood by removing atmospheric pressure 
from the punctured part. The puncture is effected by a lancet, whose 
blade has the form of the cutting apparatus of the leech. This lancet 
is fixed in the mouth of a tube, and projects about the eighth of an 
inch beyond the edge ; it may be elevated by a small lever, so that itd 
point shall be within the tube. Attached to the opposite end of the 
tube by a piece of vulcanized India-rubber, which acts as a spring, is 
a piston, which is pressed down by a rod, and on- removing the pres- 
sure is drawn back by the spring. The piston being pressed down, 
the open end of the tube, in which is the lancet, is placed over the part 
to be punctured ; the pressure is now removed, when the piston is 
drawn back by the spring, and, exITausting the air within the tube, the 
skin is forced up into its mouth. On loosening the lever, the lancet is 
drawn down by another spring, so as to effect the puncture. The 
cutting-instrument is then removed, and a glass tube with a piston is 
placed over the puncture, the air within being exhausted so that the 
tube adheres to the part, and the blood fiows freely. A dozen of 
these tubes, each of , which draws as much as a large leech, may be 
thus attached in two or three minutes. The idea of a mechanical 
leech is not new, but the use of the India-rubber springs forms the 
important feature of this new apparatus. — London Medical Journal, 


At the meeting of the British Association, recently field in Bir- 
mingham, the attention of the members was invited to a patent ap- 
paratus, invented by Mr. Foudrinier, for obviating the risks which 
attend the breaking of the ropes or chains attached to the corves or 


cages in which the miners descend into and ascend from the pits. 
Such accidents not only cause destruction of human life, but in shafls 
which are fitted up with guides, according to the most improved prac- 
tice, occasion considerable damage to the shaft-fittings. The object of 
Mr. Foudrinier's invention is to fix, in all such cases, the oorve or cage 
firmly and instantaneously to the guide, through the instrumentality of 
self-acting springs, levers, and wedges, attached to the top and form- 
ing part of the cage. These come into action when disengaged 
through the breaking of the rope or chain, — that is, in the very in- 
stant at which the accident occurs. The apparatus is so admirably 
contrived, that, through the operation of simple mechanical principles, 
the tightness with which the wedges hold increas&s in proportion to the 
increase of weight in the cage. There is in mining operations anoth- 
er source of danger, in the liability of the load to be drawn up against 
the pulleys, through the negligence of the engineer, — an accident 
attended with next to certain death to the men, as well as great dam- 
age to the shaft. The risk attending such an accident Mr. Foudrinier 
also obviates, by attaching to the rope or chain a disengaging appara- 
tus, such as that made use of in the pile-driving machine, the corve 
being, at the moment of disengagement, left affixed to the guides at a 
certain distance below the pulleys. In this case, also, the apparatus 
is self-acting. Mr. Foudrinier is known to have perilled his own safe- 
ty in order to test the efficiency of his apparatus. At the Usworth 
colliery, in the county of Durham, where it has been in operation 
since the 16th of April last, it has more than once been subjected to 
very severe trials, and a number of colliery viewers and engineers 
#faaving seen the cage, though loaded with two full tubs, and weighing 
about 2h tons, stopped instantaneously upon the disengaging of the rope, 
have come forward to.bear public testimony to the vaiue and complete- 
ness of the invention. The apprehension which some persons had en- 
tertained with reference to the fall of a portion of the rope, when bro- 
ken, on the top of the corve or cage, appears to have been removed by 
a communication from Mr. Elliot, the owner of the Usworth colliery, 
which was published in the Mining Journal of the 38th of July last 
Mr. Elliot there states, that in the Usworth colliery, a broken rope, of 
about 200 fathoms in length, and weighing about 37cwt., had in that 
month fallen on a cage-top there in use, consisting merely of a 3-inch 
Memel plank, without any injurious result. This he explained by 
the circumstance that the fall of the rope is distributed over Several 
seconds of time, and that, consequently, the latter does not acquire 
the momentum which would be acquired by a mass, of the same weight 
when desc^ndine in a compact and solid body. The numerous exper- 
iments made at Birmingham with this apparatus affi^rded the highest 
gratification to many of the distinguished persons who attended the 
meeting of the British Association ; and Dr. Buckland and many oth- 
er genUemen expressed a high opinion of its value. 



It is well kaown that Tertical ladders for descending into deep 
mines are Tery fatiguing, so that the miners prefer to trust themseWes 
to baskets suspended by ropes, and in many cases the baskets are the 
only means proTided for descending and ascending, fiut accidents 
frequently occur from the breaking of the ropes, in spite of all the 
precautions that can be taken to prevent it. The. Brussels Herald 
states that some experiments have lately been made on a large scale 
in Belgium with a contrivance intended to remedy this evil. The 
basket or cu£&t is so made, that, in case the rope breaks, it imme- 
diately springs open, forming a sort of parachute, which is held su»- 
pended in the air by means of the strong current which, it is well 
Known, is always rushing up from mines, owing to the temperature 
below being higher than that above. The effect of this apparatus 
was shown before a' numerous company, several miners intrusting 
themselves to the basket, which was so ai ranged that at a certain 
point the rope broke ; they were sustained in the air by the open bas- 
ket, so that the experiments were entirely satisfactory. 


During the past year, a dam has been completed across the Con- 
necticut River at Hadley Falls, 9 miles north of Springfield, Mass., 
which is believed to be the largest in the United States. It forms a 
portion of the works of a large manufacturing company, which is in- 
corporated with a capital of $4,000,000. They own about 1,200» 
acres of land and the entire water-power, which is very great, as the 
fall of water in the river at that point is about 59 feet. A dam built, 
as is the present one, of wood, was carried away the day that the 
gates were first closed, in the fall of 1848, owing, as is supposed, to 
some peculiarity in the strata of the rock which forms the oed of the 
river. The present structure is 1,017 feet long, and is an improve- 
ment upon the old cribbing plan. It is built of solid timbers, 13 inch- 
es square, laid crosswise, one above another, with a pitch up-stream, 
and all bolted and pinned together, sunk to the average depth of 4 feet 
into the solid rock in the bed of the river, and there firmly secured. 
All the open space between the timbers is filled up with stones for 16 
feet from the bottom, and a large bed of gravel is laid before the struc- 
ture, to render it tight and firm. The width of the dam at the base is 
90 feet, and its height varies with the bed of the river, from 28 to 38 
feet. The slope from the top to the upper edge of the base is on the 
angle of 21i degrees. The covering is of plank, 6 inches thick, bolt- 
ed down to the timbers. The upper part and ridge are double- 
planked, and the ridge, which is pitched down-stream, is covered 
with thick boiler-plate, to protect it from the ice. The amount of 
timber in the dam is about 4,000,000 feet, and the pressure which the 
dam is required to sustain, when there is but two feet of water on the 
ridj?e, is upwards of 44,000 tons. 

The abutments and bulkhead, which together occupy about 200 



feet, are coDStructed of solid masonry. The gateways of the bulk- 
head, 13 ia number, through which the water is let into the main ca- 
nal, are 8 feet wide by 15 feet high, with double guard-gates, securely 
put in. A gate-house is to be erected on the bulkhead, of sufficient 
dimensions to cover the gates, and to contain the machinery for mov- 
ing them. 

The gates were first closed on October 22d, and the water began 
to run over the dam in 9 hours and 16 minutes from the time of clos- 
ing. In the construction of the abutment, guard-gates, and lock- wall, 
at the head of the canal, there have been used 10,000 perches of 
stone (25 cubic feet to the perch). It is said that in peculiar states of 
the air the roar of the water at this dam has been heard for the dis- 
tance of 40 miles ; and in Springfield, 10 miles distant, it is heard 
distinctly, and doors, whose latches allow them a little play, vibrate to 
its concussions, at the rate of 128 vibrations per minute. 

To show the magnitude of the works of which this dam forms a 
part, we may mention that 70,600 perches of masonry have been laid, 
and 602,000 yards of earth and 50,000 yards of. rock excavated, since 
the work was first commenced. 


A NEWLT invented apparatus for the prevention of collision at sea 
during foggy and thick weather, when lights and other methods now 
in use are altogether unavailable, has been recently exhibited at 
Lloyd's Rooms, in Liverpool. The machine is extremely portable, 
occupying a space of about 2 feet square, and capable of being worked 
by one man, who, turning a cog-wheel acting on a force-pump, pro- 
duces a volume of sound that will penetrate to a distance of several 
miles. It was highly approved of by many merchants, captains, and 
other nautical men, and it will answer, also, as a signal of distress for 
vessels, when in danger on a lee-shore or elsewhere. 


Mr. Arthur Huston, Bristol, Maine, has invented a very simple 
machine, which, on deck or cabin, or any convenient place, points to a 
register marked with degrees to indicate the number of knots the ves- 
sel is making per hour or half-hour. The principle of it consists in a 
lever with a blade on its lower end, passing down oi^ both sides of the 
keel as a resisting medium to the water, which, by a graduated spring 
on the upper edge of the lever, moves the lever backwards and for- 
wards, according to the pressure of the water, and by having the 
pointer on the upper end, the velocity of the vessel is thus indicated 
on the dial. Two or more pointers may be placed in different parts 
of the vessel, connected to the top of the lever by wires, to register 
the velocity in different parts of the vessel at the same time. 



This contrivance, the invention of Mr. Wilder, of Detroit, is an- 
other of the instruments intended to show the lee-way or side-way 
drifting from her course which every ship makes, to a greater or less 
degree. All these inventions hitherto have been unsuccessful, but 
this seems to approach nearer to what is required. A tube about 4 
inches in diameter passes down through the binnacle to the keel of 
the vessel, through which passes a rod, and to this a vane is attached, 
about 8 inches deep and 2 feet long. As this is in dense water, it 
will be operated on by any drifting of the vessel, which will be indi* 
cated by a needle at the top of the rod, which is placed upon a plate 
on which Jhe degrees are marked. This plate can be most conven- 
iently placed between the two compasses in the binnacle, and therefore 
directly in front of the helmsman. Should this invention answer the 
purpose intended, the latitude and longitude of a ship i;an be ascer- 
tained very nearly, without an observation of the sun, merely by cal- 
culating the *' dead reckoning," or distance run by the log. Any 
thing, however, projecting from the keel as this does, is very much 
exposed to be knocked off by whatever comes in contact with it. 


- If we understand correctly the description of this contrivance, the 
slightest variation from the true course of the ship is marked, so that 
the officer in command can at once detect any careless steering. It is 
the invention of Mr. A. £. Dayton, of St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., 
and is simply a new combination of the chemical telegraph. A small 
fillet of the chemical paper is combined with the compass, and it is 
drawn forward slowly by clock-work. The fillet is marked with par- 
allel lines, and a small steel point in connection with the wire of the 
battery rests on it. This will make a straight line always if the ves- 
sel does not diverge from her track, but every divergence of the ves- 
sel from her direct route will be indicated by the point marking either 
angular or curved lines on the fillet. 


Mr. C. Daboll, of New London, Conn., has invented a whistle that 
speaks with a most " miraculous organ " whenever its services are 
required for the purpose of alarm or warning. It is designed for the 
use of vessels at sea or on the coast, as on our eastern shores, where 
dense fogs prevail, and vessels are liable to come in collision before 
they are conscious of each other's approach. Its great advantage is 
its power of communicating sounds for a distance of from 4 to 6 
miles, far exceeding the largest bells. An experimental one has been 
placed on Bartlett's Reef, and the pilot of the Lawrence states that 
he has heard it when about 4 miles ofi* from Bartlett's Reef, against 
the loindf which was blowing quite fresh at the time. This was on a 
clear day, and when the whistle was blown, at his request, and also 


by advice of the inventor, so that the distance might be marked. It 
is probable that, under the same circumstances, the tones of a bell 
could not have been heard more than from one half to three fourths of 
a mile. The pilot of the steamer Knickerbocker reports, that he 
made the whistle, during a dense fog, thirteen minutes' running-time 
of the steamer, before coming up with the station where it is located. 
He therefore must have been some four or five miles distant from it 
when he heard it. 

This whistle consists of an air-chamber or condenser, of boiler-iron, 
sufficiently strong to resist almost any pressure, an air-pump, and a 
whistle similar to the ordinary ones used on locomotives. By means 
of the air-pump operating into this chamber, a pressure of air is ob- 
tained in it of any required amount, — say one, two, or three hundred 
pounds to the square inch. When the air is so compressed ,< it is made 
to operate the whistle by simply opening a valve, and gives a distinct, 
clear sound. 

A memorial has been presented to the Treasury Department, signed 
by most of the cojnmanders and pilots of the steamboats running 
through Long Island and Fisher's Island Sounds, setting forth the 
advantages to be derived to navigation from this whistle, and urging 
that it be introduced into the light-vessels, and at all stations where 
the government intends to afford protection to navigation. 


Mr. Pleasanton, the Fifth Auditor of the Treasury, has published 
a small pamphlet, containing a list of the light-houses, beacons, and 
floating-lights of the United States, with a statement of their location, 
heights, distance at which they are visible in clear weather, &c. It 
is accompanied by thtee distinct and beautifully engraved lithographic 
charts. The first exhibits the light-houses and light-vessels on the 
American coast, from Maine to Virginia, inclusive. The second pre- 
sents a similar exhibit of the coast from Virginia, exclusive, to Texas, 
inclusive, with the lights, of course, along the coast of Florida, and 
in the Florida Keys, &c. The third chart exhibits the position of the 
light'houses on the Lake coast. They are represented on the maps by 
red circles, diverging into rays. There are 14 on Lake Michigan", 1 
at the Straits of Michilimackinac, 7 on Lake Huron, 1 on Lake Su- 
perior, 2 on Lake St. Clair, 20 on Lake Erie, 13 on Lake Ontario 
and the St. Lawrence, and 3 on Lake Chaniplain. 

The general list exhibits strong evidence of the energy of the bu- 
reau of the Fiflh Auditor in the extension of the system. Up to the 
1st of July, 1848, there were 270 light-houses, some of them revohy- 
ing, yazying in the time of their revolution ; but most of them are 
Ji£ed lights, differing in the height of the lanterns, and in the distance 
at which they are visible. The longest distance is 30 miles, on the 
highlands of Neversink, on the coast of New Jersey, there being 
two lights, one of them revolving. 

The light-houses are so distributed, according to the necessities of 
the service, that there are 32 light-hoases on the coast of Maine, 3 in 


New Hampshire, 38 in Massachusetts, 9 in Rhode Island, 1 on Juni- 
per Island, in the State of Vermont, 11 in Connecticut, 41 in New 
York, embracing, probably, the Lake coast, 7 in New Jersey, 2 in 
Pennsylvania, 8 in Delaware, 12 in Maryland, 8 in Virginia, 7 on the 
coast of North Carolina, 5 in South Carolina, 7 in Georgia, 14 in 
Florida, 3 in Alabama, 4 in the State of Mississippi, 13 in Louisiana, 
14 in Ohio (the Lake coast), 19 in Michigan (Lake coast), 1 in Indiana, 
2 in Illinois, and 6 in Wisconsin (of course the Lake coast). 

There are 32 floating lights dispersed along the Atlantic and Lake 
coasts, yarying in the number and character of the lamps. 


Wsj^ther from a Philadelphia paper an interesting account of an 
iron light-house now being erected off the coast of Florida. It is pre- 
ceded by a short history of iron light-houses in general. '* The first 
iron light-house of which we have any account was erected in Jamai- 
ca, in 1841 ; in 1844 a second one was erected on the island of Ber- 
muda, and in 1846 a third was built for Ceylon. All three of these 
were of cast-iron, and in the form of columnar towers, 80 to 90 feet 
high. The Jamaica light-house has been severely tested by earth- 
quakes and lightning, and remains quite uninjured after a lapse of 
seven years, when, if the material had been brick or stone, it would 
have sufifered serious injury, or perhaps destruction. Several iron 
light-houses have been erected on the Irish coast upon screw-pile 
foundations. This foundation consists of a series of massive pillars 
or piles of wrought-iron, each^ermed with a worm or screw of from two 
to four feet diameter. These piles are screwed into the shoal or sand- 
bank from a raft or from a temporary platform. 

A capstan being fitted on to the head of a screw-pile, manual 
force is applied, and, as the men walk round with the capstan, the 
screw is slowly but surely inserted in the sand beneath the waters. 
When a sufiScient number of these screw-piles are thus inserted in 
symmetrical order, and the heads of the piles framed together, it is 
evident we have obtained a footing or foundation on the shoal, which, 
while possessing enormous strength (from the nature of the material 
employed), offers but a very small surface of resistance to the waves 
as they dash furiously through this apparently frail structure, — and 
on this foundation we may erect a superstructure suitable in all re- 
spects for the purposes of a light-house. 

A screw-pile foundation for a light-house was constructed last 
summer (1848) on the Brandy wine Shoal, with entire success, and 
withstood uninjured the effects of the vast fields of ice that formed in 
Delaware Bay last winter, and that must have been driven against the 
piles with prodigious force. 

The Carysfort light-house is modelled on the plan of the screw- 
pile, at least in respect to its foundation, which consists of nine piles of 
iron, arranged upon the angles and centre of an octagon. The in- 
tended site for this light-house is a coral reef, where the use of screw- 
piles would not be practicable, and where it becomes necessary to bore 


into the coral before inserting the foandatioD-pUes. Ab this species of 
rock is, however, too soft to bear the weight imposed upon each of 
the foundation-piles, an expedient has been adopted by which a larger 
area for support is obtained, and the weight of the entire structure made 
to rest on the surface of the rock. This is accomplished by connecting 
each foundation-pile with a large disk of cast-iron , and the disk rest- 
ing on the surface, while the pile passes down through its centre 10 
feet into the body of the rock, the two points of stiffness and support 
are duly achieved. 

^* The heads df the foundation-piles rise 15 feet above the surface of 
the reef, and are there framed together by massive horizontal ties 
keyed into appropriate sockets, from which rises a series of wrought- 
iron pillars to the height of 30 feet, having an inclination towards the 
centre of about 10 degrees. On the heads of these pillars are'fitted 
massive sockets, from which rises a second series of pillars, 33 feet 
long, and of less diameter, the heads of which are also fitted with 
sockets, that bear the third and upper series of pillars, 24 feet long. 
A central column rises from the centre foundation-pile to a level with 
the top of the upper series of pillars ; and from this central column 
there radiate, at proper levels, iron girders of great strength, which, 
added to the horizontal ties extending from one pillar to another, form 
a combination so compact and stiff that no force of the wind, it is sup- 
posed, will ever disturb it. 

*' For the residence of the keepers of the light, a cast-iron dwelling, 
of a circular and conical form, is fitted to the above-described frame- 
work of pillars, ties, &.c., at a point 35 feet above the level of the 
reef, and 20 feet above the highest tides. This dwelling consists of 
two stories. The lower one, being about 8 feet in height and 40 feet 
in diameter, is designed for the deposit of stores, the kitchen, &c. 
It is fitted with 8 windows, and 16 bullVeyes, — the former for air, 
the latter for light. It contains 6 iron tanks, for water and oil. The 
upper story is divided into 6 rooms, with a hall in the centre, to allow 
a free ventilation in all the apartments. There is a door at each end 
of the hall, and a large window in each room. Surrounding this story 
is a gallery, exterior to the house, 5 feet in width, where the keepers 
may exercise. 

'' From the centre of the hall rises a spiral staircase to the top of 
the structure. This staircase is inclosed by an iron cylinder, the 
whole weight of which rests upon the roof of the dwelling-house. 
On the top of the structure is the watch-room, and lantern, or light- 
room, fitted to contain a catadioptric apparatus of the largest size, that 
will produce a light of the highest power. The diameter of the struc- 
ture at the base is 50 feet, and 20 feet at the level of the watch-room 
floor. The height of the entire work above the surface of the reef 
will be 127 feet, and the height of the centre of the light 115 feet. 
The site will be about 9 miles distant from the nearest land (Key Lar- 
go) , and the depth of water on the site at low tide about 8 feet. 




From the report of Captain W. H. Swift, of the Topographical 
Engineers, we derive the following account of the new light-house off 
Cohasset, in Boston Harbour. The rock selected for the site of the 
light-house is called the Outer Minot ; at extreme low-water an area 
of about 30 feet in diameter is exposed, the highest point being about 
3i feet above low-water line. The rock is granite, with vertical seama 
of trap rising through it. '* The form of the light-house frame is an 
octagon, of 35 feet diameter at base. The structure is formed of 
8 heavy wroughtriron piles or shafts, placed at equal distances firom 
each other, with one also at the centre. These piles are forg^ in 
two pieces each, and are connected together by gun-metal sockets, the 
interior of which is bored, and the pile-ends are turned and secured 
to the sockets by means of large steel keys passing through the piles 
and the sockets. Above and below the joints or sockets, and connect* 
ing the middle pile with each outer pile, there extends a series of 
wrought-i^on braces ; and the outer shafts are connected together by 
similar braces, extending from one to the other, and thus the whole 
structure is tied together. At each of the angular points in the octa- 
gon, and at the centre, a hole of 12 inches in diameter and 5 feet in 
depth is drilled in the rock ; the outer holes with the inclination or 
batter given to the outer piles, and the middle hole vertical. The 
piles are of unequal lengths, the least length in the lower series being 
35| feet, and the greatest 38| . The piles in the upper series are of 
the uniform length of 25 feet each ; the batter of the piles towards 
the centre brings the heads of the upper ones within the periphery of 
a circle of 14 feet diameter, and there, at an elevation of 60 feet above 
the base of the middle pile, the pile-heads are secured to a heavy cast- 
ing or cap, to the arms of which they are securely keyed and bolted. 
The middle shaft is 8 inches in diameter at foot and 6 inches at top, 
and the outer shaft 8 inches at foot and 4i at top, all being forged 10 
inches in diameter at the point where they leave the surface of the 
rock, and tapering uniformly down to 8 inches in diameter in both di- 
rections, within a distance of 5 feet. The lower braces, placed 19 
feet above the rock, are 3^ inches in diameter ; the second series, 19i 
feet above the first, are 3 inches in diameter, and a third series, intro- 
duced 8^ feet below the cast-iron cap, to form the support of the floor 
of the store-room, is made of 2i-inch-square iron. 

The outer piles being inclined towards the centre, and the piles and 
the braces being inflexible, it is clear that, so long as the braces remain 
in place, the pile cannot be withdrawn firora the hole, for the whole 
structure acts as an immense '* luvis " ; either the braces must be rup- 
tured, or the rock itself must yield, before a pile can be displaced. 
Upon the pile-heads are cast-iron sockets, furnished with arms 3 feet 
in length, pointing outwards. These sockets are keyed to the heads 
of the piles, and are bolted to the arms of the cap or spider, flush with 
its upper surface ; thus giving a diameter of 20 feet from out to out. 
The object of the arms is to afibrd support for a gallery outside of 
the keeper's house, which is secured directly to the cap by bolts or 


The keeper^s house is octagonal in shape, and 14 feet in diame- 
ter; the uprights or stanchions are of cast-iron, and rest upon the 
cap iirimediately over the pile-heads, where they are secured with 
bolts and keys ; these uprights are cast with double flanches, between 
which 2-inch planks, tongued and grooved, are fitted horizontally, 
and at right angles to these another series of planks is set on end or 
vertically, and, together, these form the side or frame of the house ; 
upon this frame the roof is placed, and, finally, upon this the lantern 
is set up. 

The rock is so exposed that the drilling of the holes occupied the 
most of two seasons, although machines were used ; but these were 
several times washed from the rock. 

The light is a fixed one, and the apparatus is composed of 15 brass 
lamps, with reflectors 21 inches in diameter. The framing of the lan- 
tern is of wrought-iron, and is, a polygon of 16 faces ; height, 6 feet 6 
inches, furaished with castriron ventilator ; the glass, French plate, 
44 by 34 inches, and three eighths of an inch thick ; the extent of il- 
lumination is 210 degrees. Thus the entire height of the structure is 
about 70 feet. The average weight of each complete shaft is about 
8,200 pounds. The lantern and illuminating apparatus is about 4i 
tons in weight. 


The vrater-telescope is an instrument which the people of Norway 
have found of so great utility that there is scarcely a single fishing- 
boat without one, of three or four feet in length, which they carry in 
their boats with them when they go a fishing. When they reach the 
fishing-grounds, they immerse one end of this telescope in the water, 
and look through the glass, which shows objects some ten or fifteen fath- 
oms deep as distinctly as if they were within a few feet of the surface. 
When a shoal of ibh comes into their bays, the Norwegians instantly 
prepare their nets, man their boats, and go out in pursuit. The first pro- 
cess is minutely to survey the ground with their glasses, and where they 
find the fish swarming about in great numbers, they give the signal, and 
surround tha fish with their large draught-nets, and often catch them 
in hundreds at a time. Without these telescopes their business would 
often prove precarious and unprofitable, as the fish, by these glasses, 
are as distinctly seen in the deep, clear sea of Norway, as gold-fish in 
a crystal jar. This instrument is not only used by the fishermen, but 
is also found aboard the navy and coasting vessels of Norway. When 
their anchors get into foul ground, or their cables warped on a road- 
stead, they immediately apply the glass, and, guided by it, take steps 
to put all to rights, which they could not do so well without the aid of 
the rude and simple instrument, which the meanest fisherman can 
make up with his own hands, without the aid of a craftsman. This 
instrument has been lately adopted by the Scotch fishermen on the 
Tay, and by its assistance they have been enabled to discover stones, 
holes, and uneven ground, over which their nets travel, and have found 
the telescope answer to admiration, the minutest object in twelve feet 


of water being as dearly seen as on the surface. We see no reason 
why it could not be used with advantage in the rivers and bays of the 
United States. 


Among the articles exhibited at the display, just closed, of French 
domestic products, we remarked corks for bottles, which were made 
by machinery. Numerous and costly experiments, to supersede man- 
ual labor, had entirely failed. But Messrs. Duprat & Co., of Cas- 
tres, devised and executed an apparatus, by which, at their great 
manufactory of corks, they turned out a hundred thousand daily, of 
the best formation and finish, easily to be distinguished from those of 
handicraft in common use. By multiplying the machines, the manu- 
facturers could meet any amount of demand. Hitherto, for the essen- 
tial operation, — the rounding, — workmen of special skill and prac- 
tice were indispensable, and received wages of four francs per diem 
for the thousand corks they were able to furnish. By the machine 
called La Toumeuse, plied with little fatigue, by a woman or child, 
the supply is 25,000 per day. — Frerich Journal. 


Reports have been circulating, for some time past, of an invention 
for manufacturing ice by some mechanical means ; but the idea has 
met with almost universal ridicule, so that we were very much sur- 
prised, a short time since, when a friend from the South informed us 
that there is a company now in existence in New Orleans, who pro- 
pose to manufacture ice ; and he further informed us that he had seen 
beautifully clear lumps, four feet square, manufactured by the compa- 
ny. He added, that, even if they failed in making ice in large quan- 
tities, there was no doubt but that they could produce currents of very 
cold air, which could be introduced into dwellings in summer, for the 
purpose of cooling them, and preventing disease. 

We find in a late number of the Scientific American a letter from 
New Orleans, in which the manner of proceeding is partially detailed. 
The writer says, that the invention is not purely mechanical, but is 
based upon both mechanics and chemistry. It consists essentially of 
a force-pump, in which air is divested of latent heat by mechanical 
compression, and an engine, in which the same air is made to act ex- 
pansively, and in the process to absorb from the water to be frozen 
the heat due to its increase of volume. But there are several auxil- 
iary stents for giving this simple contrivance its greatest effective utili- 
ty. Thus, by an obvious arrangement of attaching the pump and en- 
gine to the opposite ends of a common beam, the power consumed in 
condensing air in the pump is, to a considerable degree, recovered in 
its expansion in the engine. At the same time, the heat evolved by 
the compression of the air is extinguished by a jet of water, thrown in- 
to the body of the force-pump by means of a smaller pump ; while 
the heat necessary to impart to the expanding air the elasticity and me* 


ehanical foiee dae to its qoantity and Yolume is furniBhed through a 
flimiiar puaip, which takes from the cistern a portion of the hquid, 
and, after injectiDg it into the expanding air in the engine, returns it 
to the same cistern. This cistern thus operates as a reservoir of cold, 
and as the sufficient means of abstracting heat from water, which is 
to be converted into ice. It is proposed to use the same air over and 
over again, and thus the inventor attains the object of employing 
air which previous condensation has depriyed of heat, and subsequent 
expansion has left at a lower temperature than the atmosphere. The 
present imperfect machine has lowered a large quantity of matter 
from OQO Fahrenheit to 5^ below zero, and maintained it at the latter 
temperature for a long time, with but little cost of power ; but a new 
machine is now building, which it is supposed will succeed still bet- 
ter, as some defects, natural to a new and original contrivance, have 
been obviated in this second one. Ice can, it is expected, be made by 
this process at a cheaper rate than it can be imported from the North- 
em States. 


A SERIES of interesting experiments has just been concluded at 
the Birmingham Water-works, relative to the strength of gutta percha 
tubing, with a view to its applicability for the conveyance of water. 
The experiments were made upon tubes of three quarters of an inch 
in diameter, and one eighth thick, of gutta-percha. These were at- 
tached to the iron main and, subjected for two months to a pressure 
of 200 feet head of water, without being in the slightest degree de- 
teriorated. In order to ascertain, if possible, the maximym strength 
of the tubes, they were connected with the Water Company^s hy- 
draulic proofing-pump, the regular load of which is 2501bs. on the 
square inch. At this point they were unaffected, and the pump was 
worked up to 3371bs., but, to the astonishment of every one, the tubes 
still remained perfect. It was then proposed to work the pump up to 
500lbs., but it was found that the lever of the valve woidd bear no 
more weight. The utmost power of the hydraulic pump could not 
burst the tubes. The gutta-percha, being slightly elastic, allowed 
the tubes to become a little expanded by the extraordinary pressure 
which was applied, but on its withdrawal they resumed their former 
size. — AtheruEumy August 11. 


The New Bedford Cordage Company have in operation a machine 
for manufacturing ** shrouds " for ships, which effects a ffreat saving 
in time and labor over the old mode. By it, a length of shrouding 90 
fathoms long, consisting of four strands, and weighing a ton, can be 
completed and reeled in 33 minutes, requiring only the labor of two 
men and two boys, whereas, but a few years since, it would have 
taken thirty men half a day. It is claimed that superior strength and 
durability are also gained by this process, as in 'Maying" the 



Strands they are allowed to remain undisturbed till the rope is fin- 
ished, which maintains an equal tension to the strands, and of 
course increases the strength. 


Considerable attention has been excited by the Maysville estab- 
lishment for manufacturing hemp without rotting. Frequent attempts 
before have failed on account of inefficient machinery, and especially 
on account of the great liability of this kind of hemp to most offensive 
putrefaction and speedy decay. Now these difficulties seem to be en- 
tirely overcome. The hemp is broken out and cleaned without making 
tow or waste, and the product is carried through a chemical process 
called hyamzing^ by which it is rendered indestructible from ordinary 
exposure to weather. This kyanized rope is said to be superior 
to the Manilla for river purposes, being stronger, more flexible, more 
durable, wearing smoother, and being more pleasant for boatmen to 
handle. At the same time, it must be admitted, that before it is used 
it does not look as well as Manilla, and there is no other cordage in 
the world that does. It is said to improve in appearance, however, by 
wear, while the Manilla frays down and wears rough. Here, then, 
is a use American hemp is applied to, which heretofore required a 
foreign article. The kyanized rope and kyanized bagging, too, must 
probably come into use in covering cotton-bales. The dew-rotted 
rope and bagging gives way too soon, by the exposure which a great 
deal of the cotton is subjected to, and it arrives at its place of destina- 
tion in bad order. 

It is stated that hemp can be worked up into both rope and bag- 
ging so economically and perfectly as to render it certain that the 
usual manner of working it cannot be much longer used, — that rope 
and bagging can be made cheaper in this way than by the usual 

Some trials have lately been made at Cincinnati, in order to test the 
comparative strength of Manilla and this new kyanized rope. A 
small Manilla rope of the best quality, of Boston manufacture, broke 
after sustaining a weight of l,d201bs. The kyanized rope manufac- 
tured in MaysviUe was found to sustain a weight of 2,320lbs. before 
breaking. On a second trial, a Manilla rope of the same size sus- 
tained 2,2001bs., and the kyanized rope 2,4101bs. Two trials were 
then made with a larger size of the Manilla rope, manufactured by 
Bonte, which parted fust, with a weight of 2,8401bs., and afterwards 
with one of 2,7961bs. The large-sized kyanized rope sustained the 
weight of 3,2201bs. before parting. The average difference in favor 
of the kyanized unrotted hemp-rope was, on the first trial, 5001bs., 
and on the last one, 400. 


Messrs. Wiceershaw & Walker, of Philadelphia, have a patent 
right for the manufacture of woven iron. This improvement does 


away with the necessity of rivets for the puipose of fasteniDg iron- 
work together, where it is used for grating of any description* The 
manufacturers are enabled to weave iron as large as railroad bars, or 
the smallest description of wire. — Journal of Commerce, 


Sheet-iron pipes of a new manufacture have lately been intro* 
duced into England, from France, where they have been in use for 
several years. They are made of sheet-iron, which is bent to the re- 
quired form and then strongly riveted together, after which they are 
coated with an alloy of tin, and the longitudinal joints are soldered so 
as to render them both air-tight and watei^proof. In order to give 
them more stiffness, they are next coated on the outside with asphalte 
cement, and, if they are intended to be used as water-pipes, the in- 
side is also coated with bitumen, which resists, Uke glass, the ac- 
tion of acids and alkalies. They are so elastic that they will bear a 
considerable deflection without injuring the pipes, or causing any 
leakage at the joints. The verticad joints screw together in the same 
manner as cast-iron gas-pipes. These pipes have been used for wa- 
ter, for gas, and for draining, and are found to be more economical 
than cast-iron, besides being less liable to leak, and for water-pipes 
they are more healthy than the common ones. 


Mr. Thomas X Lovegrove, of Baltimore, has made an important 
invention in the manufacture of iron pipes, whereby much time and 
expense are saved. It is an ingenious application of the known 
efl^ect of centrifugal force, and it will do away with the old and labori- 
ous plan of making moulds for each pipe. Any sort of pipes can be 
made in this way. 

By the ordinary mode of casting pipe, it is necessary to make a 
sand-mould for every separate piece of pipe, and a **core," which is 
formed by wrapping hay around a rod, this again being coated care- 
fully with clay to preserve the tubular or hollow form of the pipe. 
The time thus occupied may be easily imagined, and the consequent 
gain that must necessarily attend any plan by which all this' is dis- 
pensed with. 

The invention of Mr. Lovegrove consists of an iron mould, sus- 
pended horizontally, and arranged for the introduction of the melted 
metal by means of a trough at one end. As the metal is introducedi 
a slight depression at one end is effected by means of suitable tackle, 
and the revolution of the mould immediately commences ; by the time 
all the metal is introduced, the mould is elevated to its true position, 
the gravitation having carried the fused metal to the end of the 
mould, and it suddenly revolves for about half a minute with con- 
siderable velocity, distributing the metal equally to the surface, 
throughout the entire length of the mould, from the centrifugal force 
of the revolution. The vacancy in the centre is of course regulated 


by the amonnt of metal, — the pipe being made of any degree of 
thicknefls lequired. 

The effect within the mould is quite singular, and rery distinctly 
perceived during the operation. As the revolution commences, noth- 
ing is to be seen within but a confused mass of molten metal appar- 
ently occupying the whole of the interior ; suddenly, but noiselessly, 
with a discbarge of flame, the metal has taken its place at the sur- 
face of the mould, is revolving truly with it, and in the twinkling of 
an eye the perfect tube is seen within. In a few seconds, the revolu- 
tion ceases, the mould is separated, the upper half being hoisted oflT, 
and the pipe removed. There is no adhesion, the pipe in the instant 
of cooling undergoing contraction sufficient to obviate this, were 
there no artificial protection against it. The time occupied from the 
tapping of the furnace to the lifting the perfect pipe from the mould 
was precisely two minutes. And it is obvious that, with a range of 
two or three moulds in operation, pipe could be turned out as rapidly 
as the metal could be drawn from the furnace. 

But the invention will not be confined to the mere casting of iron 
pipe. It is evidently applicable in various departments throughout 
the whole range of the mechanic arts. It is not limited in its effects 
either, as we understand it, to a mere smooth surface, but while re- 
taining its circular form it will adapt itself to every variety of external 
shape and ornament 


Mr. Greener has read a paper before the British Association, 
" On the Manufacture of the finer Irons and Steel, as applied to 
Gun-Barrels and Swords." The first innovation on the old principle 
of manufacturing *gun-barrels entirely from old horse-nail stubs was 
caused by the introduction of the so-called Damascus iron, which is 
formed of alternate layers of steel and iron, fagoted, drawn down 
into rods, then tortuously twisted, and when welded into barrels, it 
forms the Damascus barrel. The success of this experiment, both in 
beauty and strength, was so great, as to be under-estimated at 50 per 
cent. , as compared with the strength of stub-twist iron. The next 
experiment was to blend more intimately steel with horse-nail stubs, 
in proportion of one to two of the latter. The next and most im- 
portant improvement was in the manufacture of gun-barrels from 
scrap-steel entirely, and for this purpose old coach-wheels were gen- 
erally in request. By clipping these into pieces, cleansing them, and 
welding in an air-furnace, a metal is produced, which surpasses in- 
tenacity, tenuity, and density any fibrous metal ever before produced. 
Its tenacity, when subjected to tension in a chain-testing machine, is 
as 8 to 2i over that of the old stub-twist mixture. JNo gunpowder 
yet tried has the power to burst barrels made from it, when properly 
manufactured. These experiments have induced others on a more 
extensive scale ; to effect this, ingots of cast-steel were taken from 
the mill, made to No. 3 in the scale of carbonization. These, after 
rolling into flat bars, were clipped into small pieces, immediately 


mixed and welded in the air-fuTnaoe, drawn down into rolls, and re- 
£igoted ; these are subsequently drawn down, and are then ready 
for being made into gun-barrels, either with or without spirally twist- 
ing them ; to form Damascene barrels from this is perfectly safe. 
The manufacture of swords is another article to which this improve- 
ment is applied. All Mr. Greener's investigations tend to satisfy him 
that it is in this way that the Arabs produce their finely-tempered 
Damascus swords ; namely, using two steels of different carboniza- 
tion, mixing them in the most intimate manner, and twisting them 
many fantastic ways, but preserving method in their fancy, l^mper- 
ing by crystallizing the steel, as is ordinarily done, is far from the 
wisest way. The Damascus blade in its fibrous state, or hammer- 
hardened, is more difficult to break, by 100 per cent., than the best 
English-made blade.- Temper it in the same way, however, and it 
shows no greater tenacity than our own. From these and other 
facts, the conclusion may be drawn, that swords constructed of dis- 
similar steel, tempered by condensation of its fibres, either by repeat- 
ed rollings, hammerings, or in any other way, are the best. — Athe^ 
fUBumy ^tember 23. 


Some experiments have recently been made with a view of testing 
the power of links for mooring-chains, cables, and other purposes, 
formed on the principle of Mr. Price, a |[entleman already known 
among scientific men as the inventor of improvements in anchors. 
The object of the inventor is to lessen the expense and weight of 
chains as at present constructed, by doing away the stud or crossbar 
of the link, and making the link with straight or parallel sides, and 
not of the present oval shape ; his principle being that, the fibre of 
the iron being kept straight, it will sustain or resist a much greater 
weight, or strain, than when force is exerted against it transversely. 
The test was completely satisfactory ; a link of uon, seven eighths of 
an inch in diameter, with parallel sides, 3 inches in length and 2| 
in breadth, without a stud, not breaking till a strain of 18 tons was put 
on it, being 8i tons beyond the government proof. — London Paper. 


While making his plans and estimates for the Britannia Tubulax 
Bridge over the Menai Straits, Mr. Stephenson, the engineer, caused 
several trials to be made in order to ascertain some facts which were 
deemed important. These are well described by a writer in a late 
number of the honAon Quarterly , from which we make considerable 
extracts, as the results are new and of great importance. 

" One of the most interesting and important results of the prelimi- 
nary investigations so ably conducted by Mr. Fairbairn and Mr. Hodg- 
kinson, was the astonishing difference found to exist between the 
power of cast and that of wrought iron to resist compression and ex- 
tenaioa. From the experience which engineers and builders had ob- 


tained in imposing weights npon cast-iron girders of all shapes and 
sizes, it had long been considered almost a mechanical axiom, that iron 
possessed greater power to resist compression than extension ; where- 
as Mr. Fairbaim's experiments, to his surprise, as well as to that of 
all who witnessed them, most clearly demonstrated that, after bearing 
a certain amount of weight, the resisting properties of cast and of 
wrought iron are diametrically opposite; in short, the results, in 
figures, prore to be nearly as follows : — 

** Cast-iron can resist, per square inch, 

Compression of from 35 to 49 tons. 
Extension of " 3 to 7 " 

** Wrougfat-iron can resist, per square inch, 

Compression of from 12 to 13 tons. 
Extension of " 16 to 18 " 

<^ The unexpected results thus obtained were of incalculable prac- 
tical Talue, for, if the preliminary experiments proposed by Mr. 
Stephenson had not been made, all the eminent engineers and mathe- 
maticians of the present day would, on the correct principle of every- 
where adjusting the thickness of iron to the "force it has to resist, have 
erroneously concurred in recommending that the proposed wrought- 
iron tubes for crossing the Conway and Menai Straits should be con- 
structed stronger at bottom than at top, instead of, as it appears they 
ought to be, stronger at top than at bottom, in consequence of which 
error the aerial gdlery would have been improperly weakened in one 
part, b^ an amount of iron which would have unscientifically over- 
loaded It at another. 

** By continuing, with great patience and ability, the experiments 
above referred to, it was finally ascertained that the relative strength 
of wrought-iron in the top and bottom of the tubes should be in the 
proportion of about 5 to 4 ; and whereas, had they been constructed 
of cast-iron, these proportions would have been reversed in the higher 

Eroportion of nearly 5 to 1, it may reasonably be asked why, if the 
itter bears compression so much better than the former, it was not 
selected for the top of the tube? In theory, this adjustment of the 
two metals to the force which each was peculiarly competent to resist 
would have been perfectly correct. It, however, could not practi- 
cally be efiected, from the difllculty of casting as well as of connect- 
ing together plates 10 and 12 feet in length, of the very slight 
thickness required. Mr. Stephenson, therefore, adhered to his de- 
termination to make the whole of his aerial galleries of wrought-iron ; 
and we may here observe, that, to insure the public from accident, he 
further resolved, that the amount of the force of extension upon them 
should be limited to only one third of their power of resistance, that 
of compression to one half, — the reason of the difilerence being that, 
inasmuch as any little flaw in the iron would infinitely more impair its 
power to resist extension than compression, it was evidently safer to 
approximate the limits of the latter than of the former. 

" As the exact strength of a hollow wrought-iron tube, such as was 
proposed, was unknown to engineers, it was deemed necessary by 
Mr. Stei^enson that its form, as well as the disposition of its niat&- 


rials, shonld be correctly ascertained. This portion of th6 inyestiga- 
tion Mr. Fairbairn and his colleagues conducted by subjecting tubes 
of different shapes to a series of experiments, the results of which 
were briefly as follows : — I. Cylindrical tubes, on being subjected 
to nine very severe trials, failed successively by collapsing at the top, 
or, in other words, by evincing inability to resist compression; 
the tube, losing its shape, gradually became elongated, or lantern- 
jawed, while the two extremities were observed to flatten or bulge out 
sideways, — besides which, the ends, which for precaution's sake rest- 
ed in concentric wooden beds, invariably bent inwards. 2. Elliptical 
tubes, with thick plates riveted to the top and bottom, had been par- 
ticularly recommended for experiment by Mr. Stephenson. These 
tubes under heavy pressure displayed greater stiflfness and strength than 
round or cylindrical ones ; but, after being subjected to a variety of 
torturing experiments of a most ingenious description, they all evinced 
comparative weakness in the top to resist compression. They like- 
wise exhibited considerable distortions of form. 3. A family weak- 
ness in the head having been thus detected in all models circular at 
bottom and top, rectangular tubes were in their turn subjected to trial. 
As they at once appeared to indicate greater strength than either of 
the other two forms had done, a very elaborate and interesting investi- 
gation was pursued by Mr. Fairbairn, who, by the light of his ex- 
periments, soon satisfied himself of the superiority of this form over 
the other two ; and every successive test confirmed the fact. 

*' The following is an abstract of the important result of about 40 
experiments made on the comparative strength of circular, elliptical, 
and rectangular tubes: — Circular, 13; Elliptical, 15; Rectangu- 
lar, 21. 

'' As soon as the rectangular was, by the investigation, clearly as- 
certained to be the best form of hollow tube that could be selected, 
the next important problem to be determined by experiment was, what 
amount of strength should be given to it, or, in other words, what 
should be the thickness of its top and bottom, in which, as we have 
shown, consisted its main power. The investigations on this subject 
soon demonstrated that if, instead of obtaining this thickness by rivet- 
ing together two or three layers of plates, they were, on the principle 
of the beam itself, placed in horizontal strata a foot or two asunder, — 
the included hollow space being subdivided by small vertical plates 
into rectangular passages or flues extending along the whole top as 
well as bottom of the tube, — an immense addition of strength, with 
Tory nearly the same weight of material, would be obtained. This 
adaptation proving highly advantageous, it was deemed advisable that 
further experiments should be made by Mr. Fairbairn and his col- 
leagues, to determine finally the precise forms and proportions of the 
great tubes. For this object an entirely new model-tube, one sixth 
of the dimensions of the intended Britannia Bridge, was very care- 
fully constructed ; and the cellular tops and bottoms thereof, as well 
as the sides, were subjected to a series of experiments, until the 
exact equiUbrium of resistance to compression and extension, as also 
the variations in the thicknesses of the plates in the several parts of the 



tube as they approached or receded from difierent points of support, 
was most accurately ascertained. In these, as well as in all the pre- 
vious experiments, the trial tubes were loaded till they gave way. 
From the fibrous nature of wrought-iron, as compared with the crys- 
talline composition of the cast metal, the tendency to rupture in most 
of these experiments was slow and progressive. ^Destruction was 
never instantaneous, as in cast-iron, but it advanced gradually ; the 
material, for some time before absolute rupture took place, emitting an 
unmistakable warning noise. 

" Although it can mathematically be shown that the two sides of a 
thin hollow tube are of but little use except to keep the tops and bot- 
toms at their duty, — the power of resistance of the latter being, how- 
ever, enormously increased by the distance that separates them, — it 
was, nevertheless, necessary to ascertain the precise amount of lateral 
strength necessary to prevent the aerial gallery writhing from storms 
of wind. The riveting process was likewise subjected to severe trial, 
as also the best form and application of the slender ribs, termed 
' angle-irons,' by which not only the plates were to be firmly connect- 
ed, but the tube itself materially strengthened, — in fact, the angle- 
irons were to be its bones, the thin plate-iron covering being merely 
its skin. 

" Mr. Stephenson had two main objects in instituting the inves'iga- 
tions we have detailed. First, to determine by actual experiment 
what amount of strength could be given to his proposed galleries ; 
and secondly, of that maximum how much it would be proper for him 
to exert. And as his decisions on these subjects will probably be in- 
teresting to our readers, we will endeavour very briefly to explain the 
calculations on which they appear to have been based. 

'* As a common railway-train weighs upon an average less than a 
ton per foot, as the greatest distances between the towers of the 
Britannia Bridge amount each to 460 feet, and as it is a well-known 
mathematical axiom among builders and engineers, that any description 
of weight spread equally along a beam produces the same strain upon 
it as would be caused by half the said weight imposed on the centre, 
it follows that the maximum weight which a monster train of 460 
feet (an ordinary train averages about half that length) could at one 
time inflict on any portion of the unsupported tube would amount to 
460 tons over the whole surface, or to 230 tons at the centre. Now, 
to insure security to the public, Mr. Stephenson, after much delibera- 
tion, determined that the size and adjustment of the iron to be used 
should, according to the experiments made and recorded, be such as 
to enable the aforesaid unsupported portions of the tube (each 460 feet 
in length) to bear no less than 4,000 tons over its whole surface, or 
2,000 tons in the centre, being nine times greater than the amount of 
strength necessarily required ; and as the results of the searching in- 
vestigation which had been instituted incontestably proved that this 
Herculean strength could be imparted to the galleries without the aid of 
the chains, which, even as an auxiliary, had been declared unnecessary, 
— and as Mr. E. Clark had very cleverly ascertained that it would 
be cheaper to construct the tubes on the ground than on the aerial 


platform, as first proposed, — Mr. Stephenson determined, on mature 
reflection, to take upon himself the responsibility of reporting to the 
directors of the Chester and Holyhead Railway that this extra cate- 
nary support, which would have cost thecompany j£^ 150,000, was whol- 
ly unnecessary. Indeed, such was the superabundance of power at his 
command, that, without adding to the weight of the rectangular gal- 
leries, he could materially have strengthened them by using at their 
top and bottom circular flues instead of square ones, which, merely 
for the sake of cleaning, &c., were adopted, although the former were 
found on experiment to bear about 18 tons to the square inch before 
they became crushed, whereas the latter could only support from 12 to 
14 tons. 

" But the security which Mr. Stephenson deemed it necessary to 
insure for the public may further be illustrated by the following very 
extraordinary fact. It has been mathematically demonstrated, as 
well as practically proved by Mr. Fairbaim, that the strain which 
would be inflicted on the iron-work of t]ie longest of Mr. Stephen- 
son's aerial galleries, by a monster train sufficient to cover it from end 
to end, would amount to six tons per square inch, which is exactly 
equal to the constant stress upon the chains of Telford's magnificent 
suspension Menai Bridge when it has nothing to support but its own 
apparently slender weight." 


Ma. M. Smith Salter, of Newark, N. J., has obtained a patent 
for a new method of making iron direct from the ore, with anthracite 
or bituminous coal, by a single process. By means of this remarkable 
invention, Mr. S. proposes to make wrought-iron at a cost of $ 25 to 
$ 30 per ton, — at least half the usual cost. His furnace has three com- 
bined chambers, one above the other, and all actuated by the same fire. 
The upper chamber is used for deoxidizing the ore, — impurities, such 
as stilphur, &c., being carried off at a low temperature, — the middle 
chamber for fluxing and working, and the lower chamber for reducing 
and finishing. The metal is taken from the last named to the hammer 
or squeezers. The whole time occupied in this process, from the time 
the ore is put into the furnace until finished by the hammer, is only 
two hours. One of his furnaces is now in operation at Boonton, in 
Morris County, N. J. Perhaps a more important invention — if fuller 
experiments should verify present anticipations — has not been intro- 
duced in many years. 


In the usual mode of puddling iron, the furnace is prepared by the 
introduction of roughly pulverized iron ore, or scoria, which is accu- 
mulated against the sides ; this defends the plates, bridges, and bot- 
tom from the action of the melted iron ; but a portion of it will collect 
in the interstices between the particles of scoria, from which it cannot 
be separated, and a loss of iron is the result. An improved method of 



preparing the puddling-fumace has been patented by Mr. G. Williams, 
of Tipton. It consists of reducing the iron ore, or scoria, to a finely 
pulverized state, mixing the same with water, which is then tempered 
to the consistence of clay, and moulded into bricks or suitable-shaped 
pieces. These are used to line the interior of the furnace, cementing 
them together with a mortar or cement formed by mixing powdered 
iron ore, or scoria, with water. The paste or clay may also be formed 
into slabs or plates, and the patentee does not confine himself to sco- 
ria, but uses other fire-resisting substances to line the puddling-for- 
nace. — London Times, 


A PATENT has recently been taken out in England for an improve- 
ment in the manufacture of wire-rod and horse-nail-rod iron, by which 
the rod, before being cut into billets, is submitted to the action of a die 
or draw-plate, called a cleanser, which removes the scale from the sur- 
face, obviating the necessity of burning it ofl^. The machine consists 
of two plates movable in a vertical slide ; in the under edge of the up- 
per plate and the upper edge of the under one, one or more grooves 
are made, which correspond in form with the section of those in the last 
pair of the rolls to which the bar is to be subjected, which are gen- 
erally rectangular, or of a V form, for this kind of iron. The grooves 
in the plates are so made that, when the two are brought together, they 
form apertures corresponding to the sectional form of the bar-iron as 
it comes from the rolls. The cleanser is placed in front of the last 
pair of rolls, and its V grooves are caused to stand exactly opposite a 
corresponding number of grooves at the finishing end of the rolls. 
The iron is refined, and then hammered in the usual way into a bar 5 
or 6 inches square in the section ; it next passes through rolls until it 
becomes li inch square, after which it passes the cleanser, which 
clears it of all scale, and then it goes through finishing-rolls, and may 
be cut into billets to form bars in the usual way. 


Mr. Thomas Howard has recently read before the London Society 
of Civil Engineers a paper on the rolling of bars for suspension-bridges, 
in which he gives a description of a new mode of manufacturing 
iron for this purpose. By the usual process the head or end of the 
link out of which the eye or hole for the connecting-pin is bored, has 
sometimes been welded on to a parallel rolled bar, and sometimes been 
hammered into the required form ; but both these methods are objec- 
tionable, owing, in the former case, to the insecurity, and in the lat- 
ter to the tediousness and expense. By the new method the bars are 
rolled at once into the requisite form in the following manner. The 
shingle or fagot of iron is first passed lengthwise at a welding heat 
through grooved rollers in the usual way, after which, before being 
drawn down to the intended thickness, it is carried to rollers which 
have bosses, or increased diameters, at the places corresponding to the 


heads to be produced, and is there passed to and fro between the rollers 
across the breadth of the bar, thus receiving a pressure only at the 
enlarged part of the rollers, which gives the necessary increase of 
breadth at the heads. It is then taken to plain finishing-rollers, and 
drawn out longitudinally in the usual manner, until it attains the 
proper length and thickness. After this the heads are trimmed to the 
exact dimensions by machinery, and the holes are drilled for the pins. 
The chains of the bridge over the Danube at Pesth, which has so 
satisfactorily withstood the heavy strain brought upon it by a retreat- 
ing army, were constructed on this plan, as have been the chains of 
several other suspension-bridges. 


The Practical Mechanic's Journal furnishes a description of an in- 
yention relating to the process of refining metal, and forcing currents 
of atmospheric and gaseous air during the process, so as to convert it 
into steel ; and also to prepare the metal previous to submitting it to 
the process of conversion into steel. The apparatus consists of the 
converting-furnace, to the tuyhre of which a blast-pipe is attached, 
formed into three passages, provided with valves for regulating the 
air-currents. Two of the passages communicate with two iron recep- 
tacles in front of the converting-furnace, the centre passage passing 
between them and to the front of the receptacles, which latter are pro- 
vided with gratings, and ash-pits beneath, and with covers for closing 
them. The process of converting the metal into steel by this appara- 
tus consists in allowing the air to pass into the two passages of the 
blast-pipe communicating with the receptacles, which are filled with 
charcoal. The charcoal is then ignited and the receptacles closed by 
means of the covers ; the air thus passed through the receptacles is 
formed into carbonic oxide and enters the tuyhre of the- converting- 
furnace, where it is mixed yriih. such a quantity of atmospheric air 
from the centre passage as may be judged desirable ; though the pat- 
entee states that a large quantity should generally be avoided. By 
means of the valves, the quantity of gaseous or atmospheric air can be 
regulated by the operator. To prepare the metal for the process of 
conversion, if it be pig-iron, it is to be smelted sufficiently in a cupola- 
furnace, to which the apparatus described is applied ; but if it be 
wrought-iron, a plumbago crucible is^ised, in which the metal is to 
be placed, being properly stratified with charcoal or carbonaceous ma- 


Wk find in Messrs. Barlow and Payne's Patent Journal an account 
of a patent recently taken out in England for some new metallic com- 
pounds. 1. The inventor produces a metal equal to refined iron by 
taking one twentieth of scrap malleable iron and placing it in the hol- 
lows of the pig-metal beds in the smelting, in which case the pig metal 
envelopes the wrought-iron, which loses its tenacity, and becomes 


more brittle and steely. After this the whole mass is thoroughly 
puddled, and it comes out the best refined iron. Scrap-iron has been 
mixed with cast-iron before, but this smelting of the mass in the pud- 
dling-fumace is an improvement. 2. Another plan is to introduce the 
scrap maUeable iron into the puddling-fumace, and then to run in the 
molten cast-iron from the smelting-fumace, before the scrap-iron is 
thoroughly smelted. The smelted iron has before been run directly in- 
to the puddling-fumace, but not mixed with the scrap in this manner. 
The inventor states that one fifth of scrap mixed with rich pig iron pro- 
duces an article of iron of great ductility and fibrousness, which may be 
readily worked under the hammer or between the rolls. For tires of 
wheels and the surfaces of rails, the scrap-steel mixed with the cast- 
iron is a great improvement. By mixing one hundredth part of block- 
tin with the cast and scrap iron in the puddling-fumace, he produces a 
metal of smooth exterior, very hard, but which can be wrought by the 
hammer or rolls. The addition of zinc or its oxides in the puddling- 
fumace produces a bright-colored metal with a clean surface, which is 
very ductile and fibrous. To make a hard, steely iron, suited for 
wheel-tires and rails, he introduces black oxide of manganese into the 
puddling-fumace, mixing it well with the metal. 


The best and latest process for this purpose la the following. The 
articles to be enamelled should be first thoroughly cleansed, and then, 
they are ready to receive the first coat, which is made of 100 parts of 
calcined flint, ground to a fine powder, mixed with 75 parts of fine- 
grained borax. This mixture is fused together, and when cooled is 
ground with 22 parts of potter's clay in water until it is of such con- 
sistency that, when an article to be glazed is dipped into it, a coating of 
about one sixth of an inch is retained. After this is done, the article 
is put one side to allow the composition to " set," as it is technically, 
called. But while it is yet moist, a composition containing 100 parts 
of comish-stone, or red limestone, ground fine, 117 parts of borax, also 
pulverized, 35 of soda-ash, 35 of saltpetre, 35 of sifted lime, 50 of 
white glass, well pounded, and 13 of white sand, is carefully sifted 
over the surface to produce the glaze. These materials must be well 
mixed and burned in a crucible, and when cool ground to a fine pow- 
der, after which they should be washed and dried. About 45 parts of 
them are mixed with one part of soda-ash in hot water, being well 
stirred together and then dried in the oven. The mixture is then 
ready for use. After the articles have been dusted over with this, 
they are placed in the oven of a stove, and kept at a temperature of 
312^ till the composition is dry, when they are placed in a kiln or muf- 
fle, and submitted to a sufiicient degree of heat to fuse the glaze. If 
the glazing is not found perfect all over, the articles can be moistened 
with salt and water, and the glazing-powder sifted over them again, 
after which they must be subjected to the heat of the kiln again. — 
Scientific American, 



The following process has been recommended for this purpose. 
First, melt filings of soft cast-iron with calcined borax in a crucible ; 
then pulverize the black vitreous substance which is thereby produced, 
and sprinkle it over the parts which are intended to be united ; after 
which heat the pieces of cast and wrought iron, and weld them togeth- 
er on an anvil, using only gentle blows. This method is peculiarly 
applicable for the manufacture of iron articles which are intended to be 
made red-hot, and are required to be impervious to fluids or liquids, as 
such a result cannot be obtained by simple fastening. — Technologiste. 


M. F. L. Alamand has read before the St. Petersburg Academy of 
Science a communication concerning a new method of preventing the 
oxidation of iron. '^ This composition of a metallic nature preserves 
iron and steel from oxidation by entering the pores without in the 
least afiecting their external appearance, so that steel instruments, fire- 
arms, &c., retain their polish after having been subjected to the me- 
tallic application. The material is composed of pure Malacca tin 120 
parts, silver filings 4, yellow tincal 12, purified bismuth 12, purified 
zinc 12, regulus of antimony 4, nitre 11, salt of persicaria 1. The tin 
should be melted separately 18 times, each time being exposed to the 
caloric for twenty minutes after it becomes fluid, and the impurities 
being carefully removed from the surface. It is then thrown into a lye 
formed of equal portions of vine-twigs and persicaria. The bismuth, 
antimony, and zinc are also melted separately, but they only require it 
twice, and are carefully run into an ingot-mould, so that all impurities 
may remain at the bottom. In mixing, the tin is the first melted, to 
which the silver is added in small quantities, and then the tincal, after 
which the others follow in succession, except the two kinds of salt, 
which are not added till it is ascertained that the alloy is effected. It 
is then well stirred and left to burn for some time, after which it is 
drawn ofif into a vessel, to be used for the metallic application. The 
iron or steel, before being dipped into the metal, must be well rubbed 
with a composition of sal-ammoniac and cream of tartar. It should 
remain in the liquid metal only till it is covered with a certain quan- 
tity of it, and when removed must be placed in a wooden box of its 
own size, in which there is a small quantity of the cream of tartar and 
ammoniac. It is rubbed with a handful of tow, and a small quantity of 
the powder is put on the surface. In the course of the operation it 
assumes the color of silver. When this is done, it is again plunged 
in the metal alloy, and then into a basin of cold water, into which 
there has previously been poured a bottle of spirits of wine. The ar- 
ticle is then rubbed with fine moistened sand to remove spots, then 
with dry sand, next with linen, and finally with leather, and the pro- 
cess is finished, the iron or steel being rendered impervious to ox- 



' For heating axes, or other similar articles, a heating-furnace is con- 
structed in the form of a vertical cylinder, the exterior being made of 
sheet-iron, lined with fire-brick, 4 feet 8 inches in diameter. In the 
interior of this cylinder four fire-chambers are formed, the inner wall 
of each being 18 inches long, 4 from front to^back, and 4 deep, form- 
ing in the whole a circle 3 feet 4 inches in diameter ; under each there 
are grate-bars, and air is supplied through a pipe connected with a 
blowing apparatus. A circular table of cast-iron is made to revolve 
slowly on a level with the upper part of the chambers, and when the 
articles are to be heated, they are placed upon the table with their 
steeled parts projecting so far over its edges as to bring them directly 
over the centre of the fire, and the table is kept slowly revolving. 
The hardening-bath consists of a circular vat of salt water, withm 
which, a little above the surface of the liquid, is a wheel mounted hor- 
izontally, with a number of hooks around the outside, on which the 
articles to be hardened are suspended. The height of the hooks from 
the surface of the hquid is such as to allow the steeled part only to be 
immersed. As soon as the hardening is effected, the articles are re- 
moved and cooled in cold water. With the bes|; cast-steel a tempera- 
ture of 510° has been found to produce a good result in hardening in 
about 45 minutes. — Scientific American* 


The following method of amalgamating zinc was discovered by Pro- 
fessor Stoddard, of Ohio, and communicated to the editor of SilHman^s 
Journal. It consists in the employment of double chloride of zinc and 
ammonia (the same solution which is so useful in soldering iron and 
steel) . The zinc to be amalgamated is heated to about 450° or 500® 
Fahrenheit, and the li(}uid applied by a cloth or sponge, and the mer- 
cury suffered to flow immediately over the surface while still moist. 
The union is instantaneous and complete, and the depth of the amal- 
gamation is easily regulated by the quantity of mercury suffered to re- 
main in contact with the zinc. This method is applicable even when 
the zinc is thoroughly oxidized on the surface ; but if it has been pre- 
viously used in a galvanic battery, it is best to cleanse the surface first 
by immersion in somewhat concentrated hydrochloric acid. A set of 
Grove's cylinders thus amalgamated, it is stated, has been used at 
Miami University during a long course of lectures without serious in- 
jury and without reamEdgamation. 


Professor Boettinger, of St. Petersburg, has published a new 
process for covering plates and wires of copper, brass, &c., with a 
brilliant coating of zinc. Poui: melted zinc into a mortar of heated 
iron, and keep stirring it until it becomes solid. Then place it in a 
porcelain or other non-metallic capsule, and pour a saturated solution 



of sal-ammoniac over it, after which the solution should be boiled. 
The article to be coated should be first dipped in weak chloric acid, 
and then put into the boiling sal-ammoniac and adnc, and in a few min- 
utes it will be covered with a brilliant coating of zinc, very difficult to 
remove by friction. The galvanic action in this case is thus explained. 
The double chloride of zinc and ammonium formed is decomposed 
by the zinc and the plate of copper. The chlorine disengaged from 
the sal-ammoniac goes to the zinc, and the ammonium escapes in gas, 
while the undecomposed sal-ammoniac, combining with the chloride of 
zinc, forms the double chloride, a very soluble and easily decomposed 
salt. If, then, an excess of zinc exists in the solution in contact with 
the electro-negative copper, the salt is decomposed into its elements, 
and the reduced zinc is deposited on the negative copper. 


M. HsssENBERG, of Loipsic, has recently discovered a new process 
for plating by heat, and he has read a paper descriptive of it to the 
Polytechnic Society of that city. The metal to be plated is first well 
cleansed and polished, and its surface is moistened with salt water by a 
camelVhair pencil, af\er which it is covered with a powder made as fol- 
lows. Silver is dissolved in nitric acid, and precipitated by the intro- 
duction of a slip of copper ; the precipitate must then be washed and 
dried. Next, one part of this precipitate or powder, one part of the 
chloride of silver, and two parts of calcined borax, are carefully mixed 
together in a porcelain mortar and washed through a fine silk sieve. 
This powder havin? been placed on the metal in such a manner that a 
layer of it covers the whole surface, the metal is put in a clear char- 
coal fire and heated to redness. It is then removed and immersed in 
boiling water, either pure or having a small quantity of the tartrate of 
potash in it. After this a stifi* brush is rubbed over every part, and it 
appears to be already entirely silvered, which is very important, as 
this is the basis of the art, and the silver in this way penetrates the 
metal for the following operations. The metal is now again covered 
with a paste made of equal portions of silver powder, pure sal-ammo- 
niac, pure salt, sulphate of zinc, and clear ox-gall. All these ingre- 
dients are jground together, adding a little distilled water with a small 
quantity of dissolved gum in it, and then the paste is laid on with a 
pencil, after which the metal is again placed in a clear charcoal fire, 
heated cherry-red, plunged in boiling water, and well rubbed as soon 
as it is cool. This process is gone through with four or five times, 
when the metal is sufficiently silvered, and is therefore fit to receive 
the burnisher's lustre. Articles plated in this way show when broken 
that the silver has evidently penetrated the copper, thereby insuring 
the durability of the plating. The points or edges of goods from 
which the silver has been worn off may be replated by this means, and 
it is necessary to apply the process only to those parts which require 
renewal, a silversmith's forge being used as the furnace. 



Under this title we are not about to describe the really precious 
metal of this country, or the produce of a home California ; but sim*- 
ply an ingenious and interesting discovery in the manipulation of met- 
alliferous substances, by which an alloy is produced that is likely to 
come into very general use for numerous articles hitherto manufac- 
tured in gilt-work, ormolu, and other more expensive metals. It is a 
mixture in certain proportions of copper, tin, zinc, &c., perfectly 
homogeneous, close in texture, highly ductile ; it rolls into sheets, and is 
manufactured with the greatest facility. It can be had of various tints, 
to represent gold of different degrees of color and purity, takes a high 
degree of poUsh, and cleans easily when tarnished. We have in- 
spected some small articles, pencil-cases, &c., manufactured from 
this alloy, and it would indeed be difficult for the most practised eye 
to discover they were not gold, without having recourse to the acid- 
test, or ascertaining the specific gravity, which is of course less than 
that of the precious metal. — Mining- Journal. 


Few of our readers are probably aware how many applications are 
now-a-days made of this useful composition. "We caW it composition, 
although the majority of the people imagine that it is a metal sui 
generis ; but such is not the fact. It is composed of one part of nick- 
el, one part of spelter or zinc, and three parts of copper ; but all 
these substances have to be pure, and must be exposed to a great heat 
before they mix among themselves. The zinc metal, which is of 
a volatile nature, is not put in the pot until the first two metals are 
well jmited together. The refractory nature of nickel, and the diffi- 
culty of obtaining the metal free from arsenic, iron, and cobalt, are 
the causes that not unfrequently we see German-silver spoons of gold- 
yellow color, while German silver prepared from pure metals will 
equal in whiteness sterling silver, and will not tarnish. Upwards of 
50,0001bs. of this composition are manufactured in this country an- 
nually, for which the nickel is imported from Germany and England. 
There are but three localities of nickel ore in this country : — an ore 
from Chatham, in Connecticut, yields about three per cent, nickel ; 
another ore from the mine La Motte, in Missouri, yields about ten per 
cent, nickel ; and lately a nickel ore has been discovered among the 
copper ore on Lake Superior. 

German silver was first introduced into the United States by Dr. 
Feuchtwanger, of New York, who was obliged to pay, on his arrival 
in this country, the custom-house duties of silver, the inspectors not 
knowing any diflference. He is the first manufacturer of the German 
silver in the United States, and he is justly entitled to the paternity 
of this useful composition. He received, in 1834, '36, and '36, silver 
medals froip the American Institute for the crude material, and for 
his exhibition of over a hundred diflferent useful articles. We regret 
much that he has not realized that remuneration which his perceptive 


powers and ingenuity ought to have awarded him, while other men 
have realized fortunes, and continue to do so, from the information 
imparted by the knowledge of Dr. Feuchtwanger. In 1837 the Doc- 
tor petitioned Congress to ^ant him permission to issue $30,000 
worth of pennies made of his composition, as an experiment to sub* 
stitute the German silver for the copper currency, and John Quincy 
Adams and Mr. Benton spoke in the highest terms of this proposition, 
and it met the approbation of the President and the members of both 
Houses. He failed, nevertheless, on account of the un&vorable re- 
port of the Directors of the Mint, who stated that the right of coin- 
age belongs to the Grovernment, and that it required some skill to 
analyze the German silver. — Hunfs Merchants' Magazine. 


A RECENT examination of some ^old pens in the laboratory of the 
Lawrence Scientific School, Cambridge, showed that they were com- 
posed of galvanized iron, coated with an extremely thin plating of 
gold. The pen was apparently at first stamped from thin sheet-iron, 
then coated with zinc, and lastly with gold, the last being put on by 
galvanic electricity. The combination of zinc and iron to form the 
body of the pen was most ingenious, and adapted to prevent corrosion, 
as the pen resisted the action of the strongest acids for some time. 
The pens were stamped as the " Cobden Pen," and not with the 
name of any manu&u;turer. 


From a letter from Mr. Gere, the superintendent of the Syracuse 
Salt Springs, we learn that the quantity of salt manufactured during 
the season amounts to about 5,066,000 bushels, being an increase of 
330,000 over any previous year. Salt has declined in price the whole 
season, finally coming as low as 65 cents per barrel, including the 
duty. The only new shaft sunk is one at Salina, to a depth of 220 
feet, being 40 ieet more than any other at that place. With the 
proper deductions, the price received for the salt is but 38 cents for a 
barrel of five bushels. 


This new fire-proof paint is formed from a peculiar mineral sub- 
stance found in large quantities in a stratum of rock in Sharron, Ohio. 
It is composed of silica, alumina, protoxide of iron, and magnesia, 
with a small admixture of lime and carbon. It has the appearance of 
the finest indigo ; but a few days' exposure turns it to a hard stone. 
The examining committee of the fair of the American Institute, of 
1848, reported that it was an article superior to every thing that had 
previously been presented, as a fire and weather proof covering, and 
awarded to Mr. Blake a medal. The fair of the State of New York, 
held in Buf^o, also awarded a medaL The agents of all the fire-in- 

94 Ai?irvAL or scientipic discovery. 

snrance companies in Akron, Ohio (where the paint is best known), 
have issued circulars to the effect that they will insure buildings the 
roofe of which are well covered with this paint at lower premiums 
than those covered with tin or zinc, as they consider it a better fire- 
proof. It forms a complete stone covering, impervious to the action 
of the weather and of fire, and the longer on, the harder and more 
permanent it seems to become. The chocolate-color produced with a 
slight mixture of white lead forms a coating through which not a 
particle of moisture can penetrate. It never, we are informed, peals 
off, and cannot fade, as it is the natural color of the substance. — 
HuTiVs Merchants* Magazine, 


Mr. W. Lonomaid, of London, has lately taken out a patent for a 
new way of treating the oxides of iron and obtaining products from 
them for making paints. The mode of operation, which certainly 
has the merit of being novel, is as follows. The oxide of iron is re- 
duced to a powder, and then resin or tar is mixed with it in the pro- 
portion of 10 or 16 per cent., the larger quantity being preferable. 
The resin or tar, if used dry, should be pulverized, but when used in 
a semi-fluid state, it is mixed directly with the oxide and dried after- 
wards. The materials, being mixed, are put into retorts of cast-iron, 
which are about five feet long, and the only opening is closed with a 
cover. The retorts are then placed vertically in a furnace with the 
cover downwards to- allow the escape of the gaseous matters evolved, 
and are allowed to remain at a fixed temperature for two hours after 
the gases have ceased to escape. After this they are suffered to 
cool gradually, and the product obtained is a dark-colored matter, 
which when used as a pigment with oil forms a paint. If the escap- 
ing gases are preserved, they produce a volatile oil and an inflammable 


A METHOD of wall-painting has been invented at Berlin by a M. 
Fuchs, which promises to supersede the difficult al fresco process. It 
is stated to be much more durable and better adapted to the changes 
of a northern climate than the Italian method. An experiment was 
made a year ago to test the power of the colors to resist a very de- 
structive agent, the result of which has just been ascertained. In 
September of last year a portrait on lAone v^as painted according to 
the new process by Kaulbach, and given for trial to the director of 
the Royal Museum. It has ever since been deposited in the chimney, 
exposed to a twelvemonth's smoke, and when recently taken out it was 
covered by a thick coating of soot that was removed with difficulty, 
but the painting beneath was found uninjured, with the colors clear 
and bright. 



An English gentleman stated some interesting facts concerning 
ivory in a recent lecture at Sheffield. There are several sorts of ivory, 
differing from each other in composition, durability, external ap- 
pearance, and value. The principal sources from which ivory is 
aerived are the western coast of Africa and Hindostan. Camaroo 
ivory is considered the best, on account of its color and transparency. 
In some of the best tusks the transparency can be discovered even on 
the outside. The manufacturers have a process by which they make 
poor ivory transparent, but it lasts only for a short time. A third 
kind of ivory, called the Egyptian, has lately been introduced, which is 
considerably lower in price than the Indian, but in working there is 
much waste. By an analysis, the African ivory shows a proportion of 
animal to earthy matter of 101 to 100 ; the Indian, 76 to 100 ; and 
the Egyptian, 70 to 100. The value of ivory consumed in Sheffield, 
where it is much used in making handles for cutlery, is about $ 140,000, 
and nearly 500 persons are employed in working it up. To make up 
the weight of 180 tons consumed in that place, there must be about 
45,000 tusks, whose average weight is 9 pounds each, though some 
weigh from 60 to 100 pounds. According to this the number of ele- 
phants killed every year is 22,500 ; but allowing that some tusks are 
cast and some animals die, it may be fairly estimated that 18,000 are 
killed every year merely for the ivory, which is contrary to the usual 
belief that the ivory used comes from the tusks cast by living ele- 
phants. These estimates, it will be seen, are for Sheffield merely. 


Mr. Layard, in his explorations among the ruins of Nineveh, dis- 
covered some splendid works of art carved in ivory, which he forward- 
ed to England. When they arrived there, it was discovered that the 
ivory was crumbling to pieces very rapidly. Professor Owen waa 
consulted to know if there was any means of preventing the entire 
loss of these specimens of ancient art, and he came to the conclusion 
that the decay was owing to the loss of the albumen in the ivory, 
and therefore recommended that the articles be boiled in a solution of 
albumen. The experiment was tried with complete success, and the 
ivory has been rendered as firm and solid as when it was first en- 


Compressed bricks, with a longitudinal perforation, have been 
brought into use in England, in the construction of edifices. The 
plan, however, is not of recent origin, having been knovni to the an- 
cients, and applied in the construction of some of the early Christian 
churches in Italy. These bricks, being considerably lighter than the 
solid ones, may be used with advantage and economy in the constru\B- 
tion of arches, and the partition-waUs of dwelling-houses and other 


buildings. They have also the recommendation of combining dryness 
with facility of ventilation. 


The manufacture of Queens ware, like that of glass, is rapidly ad- 
vancing in this country. There are at Liverpool, Ohio, seven dif- 
ferent establishments, giving active exercise to a large amount of cap- 
ital, and employing upwards of 180 workmen. They turn out more 
than $70,000 worth of the ware annuaUy, and the Pittsburg Gazette 
says: — 

" The ware, which is of two colors, either of a light yeUow or of 
a dark mahogany hue, is as strong and well glazed as any we have 
ever seen, while the patterns are, in many instances, very chaste and 
graceful. This branch of our manufactures has sprung up within the 
past few years, and has already driven the English yellow ware from 
our market. It is sold in vast quantities in New York, Philadelphia, 
and the other Eastern cities, as well as in Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Louis- 
ville, St. Louis, New Orleans, and the rest of the Western towns." 

At Zanesville, Ohio, there are also large factories. 


Mr. Archibald M*Donald has lately been engaged at the Seyton 
Pottery, Aberdeen, in making some experiments upon calcined gran- 
ite as a substitute for clay in the manufacture of pipes and other earth- 
en-ware articles. He states in a note to us, that the material stands a 
strong fire and is not aflfected by transitions from heat and cold. The 
native color of the stone can be nearly retained in the formation of 
busts, statues, vases, urns, and general pottery, as also in chimney- 
pieces, spouts, &c. In such articles as are intended to withstand the 
effects of great heat, where an extract only of stone is used, the color 
cannot be Kept so well, as, for example, in retorts and crucibles ; but 
any preparation of the material, when once properly finished, may be 
heated to whiteness without injury. The experiments have been car- 
ried on under great disadvantages, but have thus far all been satisfac- 
tory. — Practical Mechanic's (Scotch) Journal. 


M. VioLiTTER has lately presented to the French Academy of Scien- 
ces a very able communication on the desiccation of different kinds of 
wood by steam. He ascertained that steam raised to 482 degrees Fah- 
renheit was capable of taking up a considerable quantity of water, and, 
acting upon this knowledge, he submitted different kinds of oak, elm, 
pine, and walnut, in pieces about 8 inches long and half an inch square, 
to a current of steam at 7} pounds' pressure to the square inch, which 
was afterwards raised to 482 degrees. The wood was thus exposed 
for two hours. It was weighed before it was exposed to the steam, 
and afterwards placed in closely stopped bottles until it became cool, 


when it was again weighed, and showed -a considerable loss of weight, 
which increased with the increase in the temperature of the steam. 
For elm and oak the decrease was one half, for ash and walnut two 
fifths, and for pine one third. The woods also underwent a change 
of color as the heat was Hsing from 392 to 482 degrees ; the walnut 
became very dark, exhibiting a kind of tar formed in the wood by the 
process, which was found to have a preserving effect on the wood. 
it was ascertained that wood thus treated became stronger, having an 
increase in the power of resisting fracture. The maximum heat for 
producing the greatest power of resisting fracture was, for elm from 
302 to 347 degrees ; for oak, walnut, and pine, from 257 to 302. The 
oak was increased in strength &ve ninths, walnut one half, pine two 
fifths, and elm over one fifth. By this process of steaming, the fibres 
of the wood are drawn closer together, and maple and pine treated 
with steam at a temperature of 482 degrees were rendered far more 
valuable for musical instruments than by any other process heretofore 
known. These, however, are but preliminary experiments^ which it 
is expected will lead to very important results. 


A STATEMENT has lately been made to the Highland Agricultural 
Society of Scotland in relation to pulverizing bones by steam, and it 
was asserted that bones of any size could be reduced to a soft mass in 
the following manner. All the machinery necessary is a small boiler 
with a steaming-vessel connected with it capable of bearing a pressure 
of twenty- five or thirty pounds to the square inch. The vessel being 
filled with bones and subjected to the action of steam above the level 
of the boiler (as they will not dissolve if covered with water), at 
twenty-five pounds' pressure, for a few hours, they will become quite 
dissolved, thus saving all the expense of grinding and the sulphuric 
acid commonly used, which amounts to double the price of the rough 
bones. By this new process the bones are so much softened that they 
can be crushed by the hand. Dr. Anderson, the chemist, thinks the 
steaming-process cheaper than the old one, and Prof. Traill considers 
it preferable, because all the animal matter, a portion of which is 
coomionly lost, and the gelatine, are saved. — Albany Cultivator. 


We leain from the Cincinnati papers that there are upwards of 
thirty large establishments in that city employed in the manufacture 
of lard-oil, which is accomplished by divesting the lard of one of its 
constituent parts, — stearine. The largest of these, whose operations 
are probably more extensive than any other in the United States, has 
manufactured heretofore into lard, oil, and stearine 140,0001bs. month- 
ly, all the year round, and the great increase of hogs for the pres- 
ent season will probably enlarge that business this year 50 per cent. 
It is calculated that ll,000,000lbs. of lard will be run into lard-oil this 
year, two sevenths of which aggregate will make stearine, the residue 



oil, say about 24,000 barrels of 43 gallons each. Much the larger 
share of this is of inferior lard, made of mast-fed^and still-fed hogs, 
the material, to a great extent, coming from a distance ; hence the 
poor quality of Western lard-oil. Lard-oil, besides being soM for 
what it actually is, is also used for adulterating sperm-oil, and in 
France serves to materially reduce the cost of olive-oil, the skill of 
the French chemists enabling them to incorporate from 60 to 70 per 
cent of lard-oil with that of the olive. There is also an establish- 
ment in that city which, besides putting up hams, &c., is extensive- 
ly engaged in extracting the grease from the rest of the hog, and will 
probably this year operate in this way on 30,000 hogs. It has sevea 
large circular tanks, six of capacity to hold each 15,0001bs., and one 
6,0001bs. These receive the entire carcass, with the exception of 
the hams, and the mass is subjected to steam-process, under a pres- 
sure of TOlbs. to the square inch, the effect of which operation is to 
reduce the whole to one consistence, and every bone to powder. The 
fat is drawn off by cocks, and the residuum, a mere earthy sub- 
stance, is taken away for manure. Besides the hogs which reach 
this factory in entire carcasses, the great mass of heads, ribs, back- 
bones, tail-pieces, feet, and other trimmings of the hogs cut up at the 
different pork-houses, are subjected to the same process, in order to 
extract every particle of grease. This concern alone is expected to 
turn out this season 3,600 ,000lbs. of lard, five sixths of which is 
No. 1. Six hundred hogs daily pass through these tanks one day 
with another. 

The stearine expressed from the lard is used to make candles by 
being subjected to hydraulic pressure, by which three eighths of it is 
discharged as an impure oleine ; this last is employed in the manufac- 
ture of soap ; 3,000,000lbs. of stearine have been made in one year 
into candles and soap in these factories, and they can make 6,000]bs* 
of candles per average day throughout the year. — Hunt^s Merchants^ 


The art of making elastic moulds, for copying statuary, designs, 
&c., has lately been introduced into the School of Design, England. 
It possesses great advantages over the old plan, as the moulds may be 
made at small cost and with great rapidity. That which would oc- 
cupy five or six days in the modelling, may be furnished by this pro- 
cess in half that number of hours. By the facility thus afforded, 
beautiful forms may be multiplied so cheaply as to be brought within 
the reach of all. The principal material used for the elastic moulds 
is glue or gelatine. The best fish-glue will answer as well as gelar 
tine, and is much cheaper. The material is dissolved, like glue, in a 
vessel placed over the fire, in a pot of hot water, — stirring it during 
the process. To each pound of the gelatine it is necessary to add 
three quarters of a pint of water, and half an ounce of beeswax. 
It is ready for use when about the thickness of syrup. The model 
must be oiled carefully with sweet oil, and the composition must be 
poured upon it while warm, but not boiling. Having set, it may be 
taken off the model. When the model is small, it should be placed in 


a case, which gives facility for shaking the mould well when the plas- 
ter is poured, so as to drive it well into the crevices. The plaster 
should be fine ; and, in order that it may harden and set quickly, 
about a half an ounce of alum should be added to each pint of water 
used in mixing it. Before using the mould, it should be carefully 
oiled. Great care is required in mixing the plaster and watching it 
when in the mould, for if it be allowed to remain long enough to 
heat, the mould is destroyed. 


Many machines have been invented for the purpose of distilling 
fresh water from salt water, but hitherto there has always been some 
objection to each and all of these contrivances. But the British gov- 
ernment seem to have satisfied themselves that a Mr. Grant has invented 
something which will answer the purpose, for they have lately pro- 
vided several of their vessels of war with his machine. He calls it 
" The Distilling and Cooking Galley." By some improvements made 
since the first invention, the quantity of fresh water obtained by the 
distillation of salt water during the time it is necessary to keep the 
galley-fires lighted for the purpose of cooking will, on the average, 
supply every person on board the vessel with one gallon of distilled 
water every day. This water is preferred to that usually supplied to 
ships for drinking and culinary purposes ; and, as it passes imme- 
diately from the condenser to the water-tanks, it enters the latter at 
the temperature of the sea. In a few hours the simple motion of the 
ship, without any chemical means, completely aerates the water, and 
removes the vapid flavor which characterizes distilled water. Experi- 
ments are in progress with a view of imparting at the moment of dia- 
tillation the oxygen of which the water is deprived in the process, 
and thus giving to it the briskness of spring water. This is proposed 
to be efifected by passing a current of electricity through the particles 
of water by means of a very simple, self-acting apparatus. 


This simple invention is patented by Wm. Miller, of Pennsylvania. 
Two posts should be taken, about 7 inches square, and 5^ feet long, 
and sunk 3 feet in the ground. A triangular mortise, 2 inches deep, 
4 high, and 5 wide, must be cut in the side of the posts 3 or 4 inches 
from the ground, and a shallow notch in the form of a Y must also be 
cut in the top of the posts, and rails, corresponding in form with this 
notch, are laid on them. The lower rail is fitted into the mortise by 
making the ends round, like gudgeons, which are to be inserted in the 
mortise, each gudgeon being about 2i inches in diameter, and of any 
length. The boards being then nailed on the side of the rails against 
which the water flows, whenever the flood strikes them, the round 
gudgeons will slide up the sloping sides of the mortise, and the upper 
rails will rise out of the notches, so that the entire pannel will fall flat 
upon the ground, being secured by the gudgeons. After the flood has 


subsided, it is only necessary to lift ap the fitUen panels, and the fence 
will be as firm as when first eieded. -— Albany Odtivator, 


A FARMER in England, named Edward B. Liddington, has produced 
a prize-essay on the comparative merits of wagons auid carts, which 
should arrest the attention of our farmers ; for if he is right, ouf 
farmers in general are wrong. Ailer &ve years' experience with 
wagons, and nearly the same with one-horse carts, on a farm of one 
hundred and seventy acres of arable and eighty acres of pasture land, 
he came to the conclusion that the carts were of the greatest advantage. 
As our farmers all use wagons, let them pay some attention to his 
statement. He says, — '* 1 have no light ploughed land, nor have I 
more than twenty or thirty acres of very heavy land. I will, there- 
fore, relate my actual experience. In the employment of wagons and 
the old broad- wheeled dung-carts, I required one wagon, one cart, and 
three horses, to every fifty acres of arable land. I also kept a light 
cart for general purposes. Now that I am employing carts, I find 
that I get through my work much more easily with two horses and two 
carts to fifty acres." 

In the calculation of items, his saving was nearly four dollars on the 
cultivation of one acre, in the year. Again he says, 'it is admitted 
that one horse attached to a given weight will move it more easily 
than two horses attached to double that weight. This arises, not only 
from the advantage gained by having all the power of draught close 
to the work, but also all the power applied at the same moment, 
which is almost impossible where two or more horses, having differ- 
ent wills and steps, are attached to the weights ; and for the same 
reason, one horse will travel more quickly. 

When a cart is filled, there is no delay in attaching the trace-horses, 
during which opetation one horse would be two hundred yards on the 
road. I know this might be done more quickly by having men ready 
to change the horses, as in the practice of opposition coaches ; but 
I am speaking of the matter-of-&ct working of the system. Then, 
again, when the load is deposited, the one horse turns in much less 
time than the two or three. These facts are too self-evident to admit 
of their contradiction ; indeed, I believe the economy of carting ma- 
nure with one-horse carts is generally allowed, but the employment of 
them in harvesting is much objected to. In this respect, however, I 
find them equally expeditious and economical. My actual experience 
is, that three carts, with the harvest-frames attached, will convey as 
much hay or com in the strsLw as two wagons, and that they are 
bound with the ropes in the same time ; therefore no time is lost in 
the binding. They are easier to pitch into than wagons, and not more 
difiicult to unload; and all the advantages are gained of speed in 

My attention was first drawn seriously to the subject, from hiring a 
man to draw some stones for draining. He came with a horse only 
fourteen hands high, and a sniall cart, when the work he accom- 
plished 80 surprised me, that I at once decided to try two light carts, 


which, after succeeding well in all other operations, I employed in 
the harvest-field, and being fully satisfied with them in this capacity, 
I soon discarded every wagon from the farm. — New York Farmer and 


Tbe desiccated floor of the London Coal Exchange consists of up- 
wards of 4,000 pieces of wood, of various kinds and qualities. The 
great feature of the affair is, that the whole of these pieces were, 
only a few months since, either in the tree in the growing state, or 
cut from wet logs, and were prepared for use in the course of a few 
days, by a new method of seasoning. The names of the woods thus 
introduced are black ebony, black oak, common and red English oak, 
wainscot, white holly, mahogany, American elm, red and white wal- 
nut (French and English), and mulberry. It is mentioned as a proof 
of the rapidity of this mode of seasoning, that the black oak is part 
of an old tree which Was discovered and removed from the bed^of the 
Tyne River about the latter end of last year. The mulberry- wood, 
introduced as the blade of the dagger in the city shield, is no less than 
a piece of a tree which was planted by Peter the Great, when working 
in this country as a shipwright. The patentees state that no one piece 
of the 4,000 occupied more than ten or twelve days in seasoning.— 
'The Builder, 


A NUMBER of experiments have been made at the London Gas 
Works, with " Phillips's Fire-Annihilator.'* These were preceded 
by an explanation from Mr. Phillips of the manner in which he was 
led to the discovery, and of the principles upon which its success de- 
pends. He stated that, while watching a volcanic eruption in the 
Mediterranean, he observed that the huge column of water which was 
discharged from the crater did not extinguish the flame which accom- 
panied it, while the smoke of a brushwood fire swept by the wind put 
out another brushwood fire near it. He then introduced the '* fire- 
annihilator," which at once extinguished very large fires fed by the 
most combustible materials. The extraordinary speed, ease, and cer- 
tainty with which the invention acted, excited the surprise and admi- 
ration of many scientific gentlemen who were present, and there can 
be little doubt that the *' fire-annihilator " is a very valuable addition 
to the discoveries of the age. In construction and application, it has 
the great advantage of being extremely simple, and it is quite porta- 
ble, and capable of being placed where it would be most accessible 
when needed. The ^ases which it evolves, and which are found so 
efficacious in extinguishing flames, are produced from a compound 
of charcoal, nitre, and gypsum, which is ignited by breaking a bot- 
tle containing sulphuric acid. The acid drops upon chlorate of 
potass and sugar, and instantly a large body of vapor is evolved with 
great force from a tube connected with the metal chamber in which 
the whole materials are inclosed. This vapor extinguishes the flames 
with a rapidity which is truly marvellous. — London Atherueum^ Sept. 




A GREAT part of the usefulness of India-rubber depends upon the 
process known as ** vulcanizing," whereby textures of which it 
forms a part are exempted from the action of heat and cold. This 
process has hitherto been performed by the mixture of sulphur and 
lead, or of sulphur alone, with the rubber. A discovery just made in 
England, by a Mr. Burke, will put an end to the contests between 
patentees of various processes in this country, by introducing a new 
process, which is simpler and cheaper than the old ones, and, dispens- 
ing with the use of sulphur, as it does, avoids the unpleasant smell 
caused by that substance. Though patented in England, this new 
process has already been employed in this country, so that it cannot 
now be monopolized here. 

The discovery may be succinctly described as follows. We con- 
dense from the language of the inventor. 

Mix 15 parts of golden sulphuret of antimony with rOO parts of 
India-rubber, and when thoroughly ** masticated," as known to man- 
ufacturers, the articles are to be made up and then submitted to heat 
in a boiler under pressure at a temperature varying from 260^ to 2S0P 

A manufacturer of this city has shown us specimens made by mix- 
ing a much larger portion of golden sulphuret of antimony with the 
same quantity of rubber named above. The product is exceedingly 
elastic, tough, and beautiful in appearance, while it is perfectly free 
from the smell of sulphur. At the same time, it has no appearance 
of bloom, which is a point of the first importance. 

The heating of compounds of rubber in a boiler under pressure was 
first introduced from England into the United States some three years 
ago. Since then, the manufacture of rubber goods has more than 
doubled in amount. This new discovery, by which antimony takes 
the place of sulphur, will extend still further this branch of American 
industry, than which none has received more attention from scientific 

The same inventor describes a new kind of cloth in these words : — 

''The second part of my invention refers to the manufacture of 
water-proof cloths or garments known as single textures, and consists 
in removing the shiny or polished appearance of the surface thereof^ 
which is very generally objected to from its resemblance to common 
oiled or painted cloths. In order to effect this improvement, I mix with 
caoutchouc, either prepared as above or not, from ten to fifteen per 
cent, of ground silk, cotton, or wool (after the manner of flock), and 
dissolve it in a suitable menstruum, or I mix the flock with the caout^ 
chouc when dissolved. With this solution I coat the surface of the 
cloth, which has previously been prepared with the water-proof com- 
position in the ordinary manner of such manufacture, and thereby 
impart to the water-proof surface an appearance greatly resembling 
woollen cloth. This cloth may be afterward put through the heating 
process, and another cloth or fabric cemented thereto as a lining, ^ 
required." — New York Tribune, 



Mitch has been said and written upon the application of the power- 
ful light produced by artificial electricity to the purposes of illumina- 
tion. Many yarieties of apparatus have been invented, to all of which 
there has hitherto been some great objection. Perhaps the greatest 
difficulty to be surmounted has been that of rendering the light steady 
and permanent by mechanical means, so that it shall not require any 
attendant. This difficulty, at least, seems to have been obviated by 
the invention we are about to describe. 

The light is called " Staite's Patent Electric Light," after its in- 
ventor, it is produced from a galvanic battery of moderate size^ em- 
bracing in its construction and elements several features, which are 
claimed to be improvements, whose object is to render the battery 
constant, continuous, and regular in its action, and economical in its 
cost. By means of solid copper wires the' electric fluid is conveyed 
to the lamp, which may be placed on a table or suspended from the 
ceiling. In this lamp are two cylinders of carbon, which are used as 
electrodes, that is to say, the current of electricity is passed from one 
to the other as Ihey stand end to end, there ends being separated from 
one twentieth to one half an inch, according to the power of the cur- 
rent applied ; and these cylinders are moved by a clock-work arrange- 
ment, in proportion as they are consumed, at a speed which is regu- 
lated by the currents. To render the light continuous, it is necessary 
that these two pieces of carbon should first be brought into actual con- 
tact, so that the current may pass and then be separated to a short 
distance. This is accomplished, and here is the grand feature of the 
invention, by t?ie current itself, without manual aid. As the carbon 
gradually wears away, at the rate of about an inch in two hours, the 
same regulated distance between the two electrodes is preserved by 
like means. The apparatus for efi^ecting this self-regulation is an 
elctro-magnetic instrument, placed directly under the plate of the 
lamp, through which the current of electricity is caused to pass. The 
piinciple of this instioment is very ingenious, in some degree resem- 


bling a galvanometer ; the galyanic current, passing through a coil of 
wire, nuignetizes a bar of soil iron, which is passed through the coil ; 
and in proportion as the current is strong or feeble, the magnetized 
bar rises or falls. When the current is in excess, it actuates an 
escapement, and the two electrodes are drawn to the required distance 
apart ; and when the current passing is less than the regulated quanti- 
ty, the motion is reversed, and the electrodes are drawn nearer to- 

Thus the light is rendered steady and constant, while no more of 
the fluid is allowed to pass than is developed in light, effecting a great 
economy of battery-power. To prevent injurious vibrations or sud- 
den movements of the iron bar, it is provided with a rack, wheel- 
work, and fly. Another improvement consists in giving the upper 
electrode the form of a circular disk made to revolve slowly in con- 
tact with a fixed scraper, which keeps the edges clean and free from 
the particles of carbon projected upon it from the lower electrode. 
The carbon is prepared by forming a powder of charcoal into paste 
with melted brown sugar, pressing it into iron moulds, and baking it 
in the moulds at a red heat, and afterwards in a crucible at a white 

There have been several public exhibitions of this light, all of which 
have been successful. In one case it was exhibited in the large 
rooms in Hanover Square, London. The rooms were, as usual, lighted 
with chandeliers of wax candles, with a considerable number of oil- 
lamps ; the total amount of light being considered to be equal to 200 
or 300 wax candles. On the lecture-table was the light apparatus* 
covered with a tall glass shade. All things being made ready, the 
galvanic circuit was completed, and in a few seconds the whole apart- 
ment was filled with such a blaze of diffusive light, as caused the now 
dimly burning candles and lamps to assume the muddy and lack- 
lustre aspect they bear in ordinary sunlight. Every object in this 
large room was brilliantly iUuminated, and as an assistant turned the 
light on and off at pleasure, the transition was as violent as from 
broad day to evening twilight. The paintings on the ceiling were 
finely displayed ; and, what was very remarkable, the tone of the 
colors was precisely similar to that which they are seen to possess in 
real daylight. All the delicate intershadings of the yellows, grays, 
flesh-tints^ and even of greens and Hues, were biilliantly defined, and 
in all respects conveyed the daylight impression to the eye. The light 
was about equal to that of 700 or 800 standard wax candles, yet a 
lady's bonnet might have covered the entire apparatus ; and the actual 
source of light did not occupy an area of more than an inch in every 
direction, if so much. The rays were then concentrated by a powerful 
lens, and directed upon some pictures, which were placed for the pur- 
pose on the side of the room, and the colors could be as clearly seen 
as by the light of the sun. 

By means of a glass prism, a spectacle yet more beautiful was 
shown : this was the display of the prismatic spectrum^ the entire 
number of the rays being present, and in brilliancy not to be distin- 
guished from the same as shown by the decomposition of the true 


solar light Perhaps one of the most striking displays of the charao 
ter of the electric light fpllowed. The electrodes were immersed in a 
globe of water, and still the light continued gleaming forth in all its 
brilliancy. Those who are familiar with the oxyhydrogen light, and 
the peculiarly white and somewhat intense light of the camphine 
lamp, might have felt doubtful of the result of a contrast with these ; 
bat the electric effulgence outshone both to a remarkable degree. It 
was stated at the time, that a volume of light equal to that of 10,01}0 
wax candles could be CTolved by the apparatus ftom a square inch of 
actual illuminating surface. It was said that a light of from one 
candle to 100,000 might be obtained, and sustained, by this new 
system ; and with regard to the cost of production, the light equal to 
100 wax candles was obtainable at the rate of a penny an hour, or 
about, as it is stated by the inventor, one twelfth part of the cost of 
gas for the same period, and producing the same degree of illumina- 

The character of the electric light presents several remarkably in- 
teresting features, most of which belong to no other artificial light 
whatever, and assimilate it to that of the sun itself. The heat evolved 
is vastly disproportionate to the light produced, as may be conceived 
from the fact, that the lamp, when pouring forth a volume of light 
equal to 800 candles, did not emit more heat than that of one Argand 
lamp equal to ^x or seven candles. The light has been displayed, 
not only in air and under water, but also in alcohol, ether, sulphuret 
of carbon, and in atmosj^eres of carbonic acid, nitrogen, and hydro- 
gen. The apparatus constructed for domestic use gives a light equal 
to from eight to forty candles. 

There is another point which appears to be important in consider- 
ing the ai^licability of this beautiful light to the illumination of 
•streets or great areas, and that is its diffusSility. The ordinary modes 
of illumination are incapable of giving luminosity to the solid and 
aqueous particles in the atmosphere for any considerable extent, but 
the electric light effects this admirably, for even if a person places 
himself in the shadow under a wall, he can easily see to read ; so 
that the argument brought up by some, that, in attempting to light 
large spaces with a single light, much of the area must be thrown in- 
to the shade, is of no weight. 

But there is one chemical peculiarity about this light which de- 
mands a brief notice. It is found to possess those chemical powers 
of decomposition, which have been regarded as peculiar properties of 
the solar light, and which are known under the name of actinism. 
Preparations of silver, which turn black when exposed to the sun's 
light, blacken also before the electric light ; and the chemical union 
of mixed gases, hydrogen and chlorine, has been effected by placing a 
jar containing them in the light of the electric lamp. 


At the sitting of the Paris Academy of Sciences on the 1 5th of Jan- 
uary, M. L. fx>aeaalt reminded the Academy that five years ago 


he had exhibited an apparatus, in which the electric light was used to 
obtain upon a screen a magnified image comparable with that given by 
the solar microscope itself. But in this instrument there was a great 
inconvenience arising from the necessity of continually watching and 
adjusting the charcoal points. This apparatus he has since modified 
so as not only to keep the poles at the -same distance apart by a spon- 
taneous action, but also to keep the radiant point immovable. These 
results he obtains by the following arrangements. The two points are 
pressed toge^er by springs, but cannot move in that direction without 
setting in motion a train of wheels, the last of which is controlled by 
an escapement The current of the apparatus passes around an 
electro-magnet, the energy of which of course depends upon liie in- 
tensity of the current ; this electro-magnet acts upon a piece of soft 
iron, which is pressed in the opposite direction by a spring. Upon 
this soft iron is mounted the detent which checks.the train of wheels 
before mentioned, and the direction of the" movement is such, that, 
when the current becomes stronger, it presses upon the wheel-work, 
and when it becomes weaker, releases it. And, as the current be- 
comes stronger or weaker according as the poles approximate to or 
recede from each other, it will be seen that the poles become free to 
approach each other as soon as their distance apart increases, but that 
they can never come in contact, because the increasing strength of the 
magnetism developed by their approach presents an insurmountable 
obstacle, which removes itself as soon as the interpolar distance has 
again increased. The approach of the charcoal points is therefore in- 
termittent, but the periods of rest and movement succeed each other 
so rapidly as to be equivalent to a continuous progression. 

M. Foucault requested the appointment of a committee to investi- 
gate the originality of his invention, as it happens to be very similar 
to that invented by Mr. Staite. The committee was appointed, and 
reported " ttat the means invented by M. Foucault originated with 
him, and were independent of those invented by Mr. Staite for the 
same purpose." At a later meeting, it appeared that M. Gaigneau, on 
the 14th of January, 1848, had taken out a patent in London, in the 
name of Mr. W. Fetrie, for an apparatus which fulfilled the same 
conditions in the same manner ; but there was also in the same patent 
a method of producing an intermittent light for light-houses, in which 
the period of intermittence could be regulated beforehand. 

It would thus appear that, within a few months of each other, 
Messrs. Foucault, Staite, and Petrie, each without the knowledge of 
the others, contrived methods for producing a constant electric light, 
which were almost exactly similar. 



After giving the description of his apparatus mentioned above, 
M. Foucault continued : — ** We thus obtain by means of my instru- 
ment arcs of all kinds, which are persistent, and which can by the 
aid of lenses be thrown upon a screen, so that their physical appear- 
ance can be contemplated, or upon a linear diagram, so that they can. 


be analyzed by the priBin. A commutator is also used to inyert the 
direction of the current, for the purpose of better exhibiting that 
part of the action due to the positive and negative poles. This 
study, the end of which cannot yet be seen, has already given me 
the following results. 

'' The arc from charcoal points furnishes by the prismatic analysis 
the most curious and brilliant appearance. Its spectrum is crossed 
along its whole extent by a multitude of irregularly-grouped lumi- 
nous lines ; but among these a douUe line is remarked situated on 
the boundary between the yellow and the orange. As this double 
ray recalled by its form and position the line D of the solar spectrum, 
I was desirous of examining whether it corresponded to it, and for 
want oi instruments to measure the angles I had recourse to a pecu- 
liar process. I projected upon the arc itself an image of the sun 
formed by a converging lens, which permitted me to observe at once 
the solar and the electric spectra superposed, and in this way I ascer- 
tained that the double bright line of the arc coincides exactly with the 
double black line of the solar light This process of investigation 
furnished me with the means of several unexpected observations. In 
the first place, it proved to me the extreme transparence of the arc, 
which but faintly shadowed the light of the sun. It showed me that 
this arc placed in the path of a beam of solar light absorbed the ray 
D, so that this line of the solar spectrum is considerably strengthened 
when the two spectra are laid exactly over each other. When, how- 
ever, they overlap, the line D appears blacker than usual in the solar 
light, and comes out more brilliant in the electric spectrum, so that we 
can easily judge of their perfect coincidence. Thus the arc offers to 
us a medium, which itself emits the rays D, but at the same time 
absorbs them when they come from another source. To make the 
experiment still more decisive, I threw upon the arc the reflected 
image- of one of the incandescent points of charcoal, which, like all 
bodies in ignition, gives no lines, and under these circumstances the 
line D appeared as in the solar light. Passing then to the examination 
of the arcs furnished by other matters, I have almost always found 
the line D positive and at its place, and I have ascertained that it 
coincides exactly with the brilliant line from the flame of a candle. 
When the poles employed are of metals which give the ray D but 
feebly, such as iron and copper, it can always be revived with ex- 
traordinary intensity by touching them with potassa, soda, or by one of 
the salts formed by lime, or by one of these bases. Before conclud- 
ing any thing from the almost constant presence of the line D, it will 
without doubt be necessary to ascertain whether its appearance does 
not indicate the existence of the same substance mixed with all arc- 
conductors. Nevertheless, this phenomenon already appears to us a 
pressing invitation to the study of the spectra of the stars, for if 
this same line should be discovered, stellar astronomy will be able to 
make the discovery available. 

- "I also endeavoured to make these different arcs coincide, and I 
was again astonished by the appearance of unexpected phenomena. 
DunBg the coincidences of these various spectra I saw the electric 


lines Btand out upon the comparatirely uniform ground of tlie solaf 
spectrum, so that it might be seen that, notwithstanding their appar- 
ently accidental grouping, they all possessed the tint of color corre- 
spoading to their refrangibility. But what is peculiar in this experi- 
ment is, that among these electric lines some possess an intensity enor- 
mously superior to that of the corresponding solar ray. Especially 
in the arc from silver there is a green ray, so to speak, inextenaibie 
by the prisms, and of a dazzling color. It is a true source of simple 
light, and as it is insulated, and as the are from silyer is transparent, 
tranquil, and durable, there is nothing to prevent this ray from being 
made the source of a green light as mtense as may be wanted, and 
from being utilized for the demonstration of phenomena heretofore in- 
dicated by theory alone. Other very intense rays have also their 
fixed places in different parts of these spectra and even at thehr ex- 
tremities, and there is great probability of discovering isolated lines, 
the rays corresponding to which cannot be seen in the solar light:"— 
L* Institute February 7. 


PaorEssoR 6. G. Page, of the PatentOffice, has communicated to 
SUliman^s Journal, JVo. 21, a paper on this subject. '* Having seen it 
stated, upon the authority of Arago, that the light of the galvanic 
arc, like that from incandescent gas, was not polarizaUe, I have been 
induced to repeat the experiment, with a view of testing, for my own 
satisfaction, a principle so important in a theoretical point of view. 
The experiment was briefly performed, and only with reference to the 
simple fact itself. The battery employed was a Grove's, of fifty 
pairs platinum plates, four inches square, and double surface of zinc. 
By means of a Nicols prism, and one reflection from a plate of mica, 
the light from the arc between the charcoal points was distinctly 
polarized. Its property in this respect was much more decided 
when the arc was first formed than when it had continued for a few 
. seconds. It may be observed, that when the electrodes are first with- 
drawn the arc is very intense^and does not rise in the arched form 
immediately, but as soon as the charcoal points have become intense- 
ly heated, the arc becx>mes elongated and rises, from the upward cur- 
rent of air, and the upper portion of the arc is then feeble in intensity. 
This upper portion did not appear at all polarizable upon a single re* 
flection, but upon two reflections was decidedly so." 


The following is an abstract of a paper recently read before the 
RoysJ Institution (England), on " Voltaic Ignition," by Mr. Grove, 
well known for his researches on electricity and galvanism. Mr. 
Grove introduced the subject by asserting that the only true philo- 
sophical idea of heat was that which regards it as a repulsive power, 
— that, with the single exception of water, and other bodies which 
assume a crystalline form when about to fi:eeze (a eondition which he 


ascribed to a polar state which these substances then take), all matter 
expands by heat This expansion of matter, so caused, can be com- 
municated to neighbouring bodies. In the case of heat produced by 
intense chemical action, he ascribed the effect to the physical force of 
a species of molecular friction on the particles acted on. This chem- 
ical force is capable of transfer by the iroltaic battery, and the calorifio 
force moves with it. It has been proved, by experiment on a com^ 
pound wire of silver and platinum, that, in proportion to the increase 
of conducting power, ignition is diminished. Mr. Grove here re- 
ferred to recent researches of his own, to prove that this calorific force 
was affected by external causes. The same current was sent through 
two coils of fme platinum wire, one of which was surrounded-by an 
atmosphere of air, the other by an atmosphere of hydrogen, when it 
was found that the wire in air became white-hot, while that in hydro- 
gen was not heated. This phenomenon he ascribed either to the mo- 
bility of the particles of the hydrogen, or to the vibrations moving 
away from the vibrating surface, or to the state of the surface itself, 
hydrogen being, as to radiating power, to air, as the color black is to 
white. That this cooling does not depend on rarefaction, is proved 
by the intense heat and light produced in vacuo. Mr. Grove then 
called the attention of the Institution to a remarkable experiment late^ 
ly performed by him, with a battery of 500 cells ; of the two platinum 
poles, the positive was placed under water, the negative held over it, 
when a cone of flame issued from the surface of the water towards 
the negative pole, on the extremity of which a small globule was 
formed, which fell off as soon as the current was suspended. These 
facts may serve to explain more clearly the phenomena of the voltaic 
arc. Mr. Grove exhd}ited paper on which the strong disruptive effect 
of the electric battery had dispersed metallic wires, and he showed 
that these explosions had always occurred in a line transverse to that 
of the current. He inferred that when ignition commenced in the 
wire, its molecules assumed a transverse polar direction. When 
platinum is ignited under circumstances which admit of the e^cts 
being accurately noticed, it contracts, swells, and breaks, and a lead 
wire, similarly acted on, becomes divided by a series of transverse 
facets. In conclusion, Mr. Grove adverted to recent endeavours to 
obtain voltaic light for practical purposes. He stated that recent cal- 
culations led him to believe that for some purposes, such as the illu- 
mination of light-houses, especially where an intermittent light was 
wanted, and of the interior of large buildings, it might possibly be 
adopted at no very remote period. The light of 1,440 candles might 
be obtained at about four shillings per hour ; but this concentrated 
light is not applicable for streets. The whole subject, however, is 
beset by many mechanical difficulties. — London Athenteum, March, 


It is well known that for the past two or three years the electric 
telegraph has been employed for the purpose of ascertaining the 
longitude of various places in this country, which has thus been done 



much more aocnrately than it conld be by any other method. But in 
determining the longitude, it becomes a matter of importance to ascer- 
tain whether the current does really pass over the wires in a time im- 
measurably small, as has been commonly stated. The longitude, it 
is well known, is determined by the difference in the time of the 
transit of any star at the two places, and as soon as it is observed at 
one place, the observer, by touching a key, records the fact at the 
other, by means of an astronomical clock ; but if any measurable time 
is consumed in the passage of the current which causes this record, it 
must be taken into the account. This subiect first attracted the at- 
tention of Mr. Walker, of Washington, while ascertaining the longi- 
tudes of Cambridge and Philadelphia, and he then became convinced 
that the time required by the galvanic stream is by no means immeas- 
urably small, but can be determined, and amounts, between Cam- 
bridge and Philadelphia, to nearly one twentieth of a second, — being, 
therefore, very much greater than would have been expected from 
analogy, after Wheatstone^s measurement of the velocity of propaga- 
tion for friction-electricity. Mr. Walker deduces this value from all 
the comparisons which were made between the three stations, Cam- 
bridge, rhiladelphia, and New York, and thus finds from 18 equations 
of condition, that the galvanic current would traverse 18,700 miles in 
a second. This value is determined to within about 1,000 miles, 

This beautiful result is, in its scientific relations, the more interest- 
ing from the fact that the galvanic current here traverses different 
mediums, — the cdnducting wire (iron), three batteries, and the 
earth, a total length of 1,050 miles. It is particularly striking that 
the velocity of the galvanic current is so much less than that of fric- 
tion-electricity, according to Wheatstone's observations. 

Having formed this opinion, Mr. Walker, of course, felt anxious to 
verify it, and for this purpose has been engaged in some experiments 
between Washington and Cincinnati, which are described by Professor 
Mitchell, in a recent letter. He says, — " The principle employed is 
very simple, and may be easily understood by those not familiar with 
the subject. Suppose it possible to start two clocks to beatings at the 
same absolute moment of time in Washington and Cincinnati, and that 
these beats are both recorded at each station. The Cincinnati clock- 
beat recorded in Cincinnati by a current of electricity having no distance 
to go is done instantly, while the Washington clock-beat, being re- 
corded by a current coming from Washington (in case this current 
should require, say, one tenth of a second of time to pass from Wash- 
ington to Cincinnati) , will fall behind the Cincinnati clock-beat, on 
the record, by that time, or by one tenth of a second. The reverse is 
true on the record in Washington* There it is manifest that the 
Washington clock-beat precedes the Cincinnati clock-beat, in case 
there be wave- time, and a comparison of the two records (in case no 
modifying circumstances come in) would show the wave-time, should 
any exist*' 

In a recent article in the Astronomical Journal^ Professor Mitchel 
gives a detailed account of some of his experiments with reference to 


this question, and shows that " the velocity deduced along the wires, 
in case the circuit is 607 miles long, is 28,524 miles per second." 
He adds, — '* I place great confidence in these results, as every care 
was taken to eliminate all possible sources of error." 


In a paper read before the French Academy, at its sitting on April 
16th, M. Matteucci, after noticing some of his former experiments, 
says, — '* Since my first experiments, I have found that the law given 
by Coulomb, for the loss of electricity in moist air, does not hold en- 
tirely true for dry gases, and that m experimenting on these, the 
results cannot be compared together, unless the experiments are made 
at the same, or nearly the same, temperature. It is known that Cou- 
lomb found that the loss of electricity in the same conditions of the 
atmosphere is proportionate to its intensity, so that the relation be- 
tween them is constant. The diflference between my results and those 
of Coulomb is, that the number which represents the relation between 
the electric force lost in a minute and the mean force, is much smaller 
than that given by Coulomb, and that it varies with the distance at 
which the electric balls are kept ; and for each experiment made at a 
given distance between them, the fraction which gives the relation 
mentioned above increases as the electric charge diminishes. So that 
in air, in hydrogen gas, or in carbonic acid, when dry, the loss of 
electricity is not proportioned to its intensity, as Coulomb asserted." 
He concludes by saying, — " We must admit that the ^^aseous mole- 
cules are attracted by the electrified bodies, and remain attached to 
these bodies, attracting other gaseous molecules around them, so as to 
propagate electricity as in solid bodies." 



The conducting power of liquids varies with the temperature, but 
in a proportion inverse to that in metallic wires, that is, it increases 
with the rise of temperature. The fact has long been known, but 
hitherto measurements were wanting. Edmond Becquerel concludes 
from his experiments on this subject, which, however, are not very 
numerous, that the increase of the conducting power proceeds propor- 
tionally to that of the temperature. This assumption must, how- 
ever, he regarded as a rude approximation to the truth. From a more 
detailed, though still unfinished investigation of Hankel, we learn 
that the conduction-resistance of liquids is very sensibly diminished by 
warming, but that this diminution is not proportional to the change of 
temperature, but is greater for a given difference of temperature the 
nearer this approaches to zero. The various liquids appear to corre- 
spond tolerably in these variations, and only differ from one another in 
this, that those solutions which contain a larger quantity of salts suffer 
greater variation in their conducting power for the same differences of 
temperature. It is singular, that the conductivity of a concentrated 


solution of sulphate of zinc, ss well as of eoneentrated salphnrie add, 
is increased by a moderate addition of water, bat again reduced by 
greater dilution. — Lubig^s Anmial Report. 

The researches of Professor Horsford, on the condacting power of 
liquids, made contemporaneously with those of Becqueiel, and publish- 
ed some years since, hate furnished many important facts on this 
interesting subject.— J5c/t7or«. 


It has been long known that flame possesses a property subversive 
of electricity, but with respect to the cause of this behaviour, the 
labors of distinguished investigators, for upwards of one hundred 
years, have only established thus much, — that flame possesses a very 
strong conducting power for electricity, which can neither be explain- 
ed merely by the rise of temperature of the air, nor by any conduct- 
ing property of the aqueous vapor contained in the hot air of the 
flame, nor by a current of air, or a removal of electricity by the vola- 
tile particles that rise from the flame ; for not one of these influences, 
by itself, evinces the conducting power in so high a degree as flame. 
However, Yolta made use of the flame of a lamp to draw electricity 
from the air and collect it in his coi^denser. A few years since, 
Riess observed that the action of flame extends over much greater 
distances than does the upward current of hot air, or than this could 
make the air conductive ; and that this current does not move at all. 
From this he concluded that the flame acts not only by direct com- 
munication, but also by induction (influence), and hence he endeavour- 
ed to reduce the effect of flame to that of points. He started from 
the consideration, that the current of hot gas ascending from the 
flame, and condacting the electricity, was repeatedly cut into and di- 
vided by the cold air (which does not conduct electricity) streaming 
upon and penetrating it, so that there are formed points and threads, 
as it were, of the conducting gas, which become more and more at- 
tenuated, and are gradually dispersed through the air, under the influ- 
ence of the colder surrounditig medium. These serrations and points 
now exert their powerful influence in inducing electricity in all direc- 
tions, and to considerable distances, producing by these means the 
effects of good conductors. The action of points is also exhibited by 
substances that do not bum with flame, but merely smoulder, as 
tinder, slow-match, &c. Riess, however, proves that in this case, 
when they cannot be caused by the ascent of incandescent gases, 
they originate in the combustion at the sur&ce of the body itself. 
These views involved Riess in a long scientific dispute, in which he' 
has increased the probability of his explanation. — Lielng^s Annual 


Dr. Faraday, in a letter to Mr. R. Phillips, one of the editors of 
the PhUosopldcal Magazine states that he has lately found gutta- 


percha yery useful in electrical experiments. Its use depends upon 
the high insulating power which it possesses under ordinary condi- 
tions, and the manner in which it keeps this power in states of the 
atmosphere which make the surface of glass a good conductor. All 
gutta-percha is not, however, equally good, as it comes from the 
manufacturer's hands ; but it does not seem difficult to bring it 
into the best state. A good piece of guttarpercha will insulate 
as well as an equal piece of shell-lac, whether it be in the form 
of a sheet, or rod, or filament ; but being tough and flexible when 
cold, as well as soft when hot, it will serve better than shell-lac in 
many cases where the brittleness of the latter is an inconvenience. 
Thus it makes very good handles for carriers of electricity in experi- 
ments on induction, not being liable to fracture ; in the form of a thin 
band, or string, it makes an excellent insulating suspender ; a piece 
of it in sheet makes a most convenient insulating basis for any thing 
placed on it. It forms excellent insulating plugs for the stems of 
gold-leaf electrometers when they pass through sheltering tubes, and 
larger plugs supply ^ood insulating feet for extemporary electricsd ar- 
rangements. Cylinders of it, half an inch or m6ie in diameter, have 
great stiffness, and form excellent insulating pillars. In these, and in 
many other ways, its power as an insulator may be useful. 

Because of its good insulation, it is also an excellent substance for 
the excitement of negative electricity. It is hardly possible to take 
one of the soles sold by the shoemaker out of paper, or into the hand, 
without exciting it to such a degree as to open the leaves of an elec- 
trometer one or more inches ; or if it be unelectrified, the slightest pas- 
sage over the hand or face, the clothes, or almost any other substance, 
gives it an electric state. Some of the gutta-percha is sold in very 
thin sheets, resembling in general appearance oiled silk ; and if a strip 
of this be drawn through the fingers, it is so electric as to adhere to 
the hand or attract- pieces of paper. The appearance is such as to 
suggest the making a thicker sheet of the substance into a plate elec- 
trical machine, for the production of negative electricity. 

Then, as to inductive action through the substance, a sheet of it is 
soon converted into an excellent electrophorus ; or it may be coated 
and used in place of a Leyden jar ; or in many of the other forms of 
apparatus dependent on inductive action. 

With respect to that gutta-percha which is not in good electrical 
condition (and which has constituted about one half of that which, 
being obtained at the shops, has passed through Dr. Faraday's hands), 
it has either discharged an electrometer, as a piece of wood or paper 
would do, or it has made it collapse greatly by touching, yet has on 
its removal been followed by a full opening of the leaves again. The 
latter effect Dr. Faraday has traced and referred to a conducting por- 
tion within the mass, covered by a thin external non-conducting coat. 
When a piece which insulates well is cut, the surface exposed has a 
resinous lustre, and a compact character that is very distinctive ; 
whilst that which conducts has not the same degree of lustre, appears 
less translucent, and has more the aspect of a turbid solution solidified. 
Both moist steam-heat and water-baths are believed to be used in its 



preparation for commerce, and the difference of specimens depends 
probably upon the manner in which these are applied, and followed by 
the after-process of rolling between hot cylinders. However, if a 
portion of that which conducts be warmed m a current of warm air, 
as over the glass of a low gas-flame, and be stretched, doubled up, 
and kneaded for some time between the fingers, as if with the inten- 
tion of dissipating the moisture within, it becomes as good an insu- 
lator as the best. 

Dr. Faraday soaked a good piece in water for an honr, and on tak- 
ing it out, wiping it, and exposing it to the air for a minute or two, 
found it insulated as well as ever. Another piece was soaked for four 
days, and then wiped and tried : at first it was found lowered in insu- 
lating power, but after twelve hours' exposure to the air, under com- 
mon circumstances, it was as good as ever. A week's exposure in a 
warm-air cupboard of a piece that did not insulate, made it much 
better. A film on the outside became non-conducting ; but if two 
fresh surfaces were exposed by cutting, and these were brought into 
contact with the electrometer and the finger, the inside portion was 
still found to conduct. 

If the gutta-percha, in either the good or the bad condition (as to elec- 
trical service) , be submitted to a gradually increasing temperature, at 
about 350 or 380^, it gives off a considerable portion of water ; being 
then cooled, the substance which remains has the general properties 
of gutta-percha, and insulates well. The original gum is probably 
complicated, being a mixture of several things ; and whether the 
water has existed in the substance as a hydrate, or is the result of a 
deeper change of one part or another of the gum. Dr. Faraday is not 
prepared to say. 


At a meeting of the Paris Academy of Sciences, May 21st, M. 
de Humboldt sent ah extract of a letter, in which M. Emile du Boys- 
Keymond describes summarily an experiment, which consists in 
causing the deviation of the needle of a galvanometer by the effect 
of muscular action. He takes a very sensitive galvanometer, and 
fixes at its extremities two slips of perfectly homogeneous platina ; 
these two slips he plunges into two vessels filled with salt water, and 
introduces into them two corresponding fingers of his two hands. 
At the first immersion of the fingers a more or less decided devi- 
ation of the needle is always produced, the direction of which fol- 
lows no law, and which is probably due, at least in part, to some 
heterog6neousness of the stin of the fingers. When there is a 
wound on one of the fingers the deviation is stronger, and is always 
directed in such a way as to show that the wounded finger behaves as 
the zinc of a zinc-copper couple, supposed to be between the vessels, 
in place of the body. Of course this is not the kind of action we tre 
concerned with now ; on the contrary, in order to observe the effects 
announced, we must wait either until the needle has returned to the 
zero of the scale, -or until it has taken a steady position under the oon- 


trol of the remainder of a current, that cannot be overcome. When 
this moment has come, he strains all the muscles of one arm, so as to 
establish an equilibrium between the flexors and extensors of all the 
joints of the arm. At once 'the needle moves, and the direction of the 
movement is such as to indicate in the stiffened arm an inverse cur- 
rent, according to the notation of Nobili ; that is, a current directed 
from the hand to the shoulder. When the experiment is made with 
the galvanometer by M. Reymond himself, the deflection amounts to 
.30^. He obtains, however, movements in the needle of far greater 
extent by contracting alternately the muscles, first of one arm and 
then of the other, in time with the oscillations of the needle. On 
bracing simultaneously the muscles of both arms, very small devi- 
ations are observable, sometimes in one direction and sometimes in 
another ; and these minute deflections are evidently caused by the 
dilSerence between the contractile force of the two limbs. Hence it 
arises, that when the experiment is repeated many times successively, 
the results diminish gradually in amount. The amount of deviation 
depends upon the amount of the development and the exercise of the 
muscles. The habitual superiority of the right hand over the left, in 
this experiment, is to be interpreted by the preponderance of the 
amount of deflection produced by the tension of the right arm. M. 
de Humboldt says, — ^* The fact of the experiment aflfecting a mag- 
netic needle by the alternate tension of the muscles of the two arms, 
— - an eflfect due to volition, — is established beyond the shadow of a 
doubt. Notwithstanding my advanced years and the little strength 
that I have in my arms, the deflections of the needle were very con- 
siderable." To facilitate the experiment, it is advisable to plunge 
the forefingers into the water, and to support the palms of the hands, 
to enable one to brace up well the muscles of the arm, which it is 
purposed to bring into play. 

Since the announcement of these experiments, many persons have 
tried similar ones, and only in a single case — that of M. Becquerel 
— have we seen any failure noticed. 


Mr. Alfred Smee, an English surgeon, and the inventor of the 
battery which bears his name, announces some important discoveries 
in animal electricity. By a test which he calls electro-voltaic, he has 
discovered that the terminations of the sensor nerves are positive poles 
of a voltaic circuit, whilst the muscular substance is the negative 
pole. The sensor nerves are the telegraphs which carry the sensa- 
tion to the brain, and the motor nerves carry back the volition to 
the muscles. The brain he infers to consist of five distinct voltaic 
circles, which, upon theoretical grounds, he believes to be suflicient 
to account for all the mental phenomena. He has succeeded in mak- 
ing artificial electric fish, and artificial muscular substance. Should 
these researches be fully confirmed by other investigators, they must 
be regarded as affording the most important physiological discovery 
of the age. 



We translate from the Comptes Rendus of the French Academy the 
snhstance of a paper hy M. Matteucci, on electro-physiology. He com- 
mences by recapitulating the four principal points from which he 
started, and which, in some degree, form a summary of his former 
labors. '* 1. In each cell of the electric organ of fishes, the two elec- 
tricities become separated under the influence of the nervous activity 
propagated from the brain towards the extremities of the nerves. A 
relation exists between the direction and the intensity of the nervous 
current, and the position and the quantity of the two electricities 
developed in the cell. 2. It has been shown by experiment that the 
greatest analogy exists between the discharge of electric fishes and 
muscular contraction. There is no circumstance which modifies one 
of these phenomena, that does not equally act upon the other. 3. The 
contraction of a muscle develops in a nerve which is in contact with 
it the cause by which the nerve excites contractions in the nerves 
throughout which it ramifies. Analogy leads us to consider this 
phenomenon a proof of an electric discharge developed by muscular 
contraction, though this has not been decided by experiment. 4. The 
electric current modifies the excitability of the nerve according to its 
direction : when propagated in the direction of the ramification of the 
nerve, it destroys its excitability ; but when propagated in a contrary 
direction, it augments it. I shall now confine myself to conununi- 
eating a result which I regard as fundamental to the theory of electro- 
physiological ^phenomena. By a simple experiment, I have shown that 
an electric current, which traverses a muscular mass in the direction 
of its fibres, develops in these filaments a nervous current, which 
direction varies according to that of the electric current, relatively to 
the ramification of the nerve. This is the reaction of electricity upon 
the nervous force. In discovering a new and very intimate analogy 
between the electric discharges of fishes and muscular contraction, I 
have shown that the nervous current develops the two electricities in 
a determinate direction, according to its own direction. In a mus- 
cular mass, the two electric states, difi^used through the elements of 
it3 fibres, produce a current, whose direction, varying with that of the 
electric current, is established, like the direction of the discharge in 
the torpedo fish, by that of the nervous current which excites it. 
This foundation of the electro-physiological phenomena I have taken 
great pains to establish. Whatever may be the nature of the nervous 
force, it is a fact that this force is propagated in the nerves, some- 
times from the brain to the extremities, and sometimes in a contrary 
direction. It is probable that, when the muscles are contracted by 
our will, a nervous current is propagated in the direction of the rami- 
fication of the nerve ; but, on the other hand, the nervous current 
follows an opposite direction when sensation is experienced by the 
stimulation of the extremities of the nerve. 

" I have shown in my former researches, by experiments, the great 
difference between the nervous and the muscular substance, as re- 
gards the conduction of the electric current. These experiments I 


cannot repeat, but will confine myself to one, which may be applied 
to the case in point. This experiment consists in introducing the 
nerve of a sensitive galvanoscopic frog into the interior of a muscular 
mass, cut in the direction of its fibres. On passing a tolerably strong 
electric current through this mass, contractions are never excited in the 
prepared frog. It is then proved, that, when a muscular mass is trav- 
ersed by an electric current, the nervous filaments diffused through 
the mass do not produce any sensible part of this current, so that the 
effects obtained Can be due only to the direct action of the electric 
current npon the muscular fibre, and to the indirect action or the 
influence of the electric current upon the nervous force. The follow- 
ing are these effects. If, in a living rabbit, dog, or frog, we expose 
the muscles of the legs, and pass an electric current from a pile of 
thirty or forty elements through the muscles, applying one of the poles 
to the upper and the other to the lower part of the leg, — if the posi- 
tive pole ii placed above and the negative one below, so that the 
electric current traverses the muscular substance in the direction of 
the ramification of the nerves, a very powerful contraction is pro- 
duced, not only in the muscles of the leg, but also in those of the 

*' These results can be explained in but one way. The very power- 
ful contraction excited by the electric current proves the existence of 
a nervous current passing from the extremities towards the centre, 
and developed under the influence of an electric current which trav- 
erses the muscular mass in the contrary direction to that of the 
ramification of the nerve. These conclusions have an important con- 
nection with the law of electric discharges in fishes, which arise from 
the production of a nervous current by the stimulation of the nerve, 
which is distributed in the organ. But in the experiments described, 
a nervous current is produced by the electric discharge passing through 
the muscle. In the discharge of the torpedo, therefore, the electric 
states are produced by the animal, while in the experiment the nervous 
current is produced by the influence of the electric current, ^^ 


We learn from a letter from a gentleman connected with the Bay- 
State Mills, at Lawrence, Mass., some facts with reference to a new 
and curious application of electricity which has been introduced in 
those mills. The electricity is generated by the motion of the ma- 
chinery, and is employed for lighting up the gas-burners. It exists in 
large quantities in the card-rooms, where there are many belts run- 
ning on iron pulleys, and, in the cold dry atmosphere of winter, often 
produces serious damage to the quality of the carding. The manner 
m which it was discovered that this electricity could be applied to 
** lighting up " is somewhat curious. When the gas was first let 
into the pipes in the mills, one of the overseers discovered fire jetting 
out from one of the pipes near a belt, and on examination it was 
ascertained that a small stream of gas was escaping. It was surmised 
that it had been ignited by the electricity, and to prove it, an experi- 


ment was tried. Near a large belt in the carding-room was a gas- 
burDer, and on a bench between them there was placed a amall quan- 
tity of wool, which is a non-conductor of electricity. If a person 
stood upon this wool, reaching one hand within two or three inches of 
the belt, and touching the gas-burner with one finger of the other, the 
escaping gas was at once ignited with an explosion like that of a per- 
cussion-cap, — the body of the operator thus being made the medium 
for conducting the electricity. 

The writer adds, — *^ We shall be able to make a great saving of 
expense in the woollen manufacture as soon as we can discover an 
effective method of conducting the electricity away from the cards, as 
we shall then be able to dispense entirely with the use of oil on the 
wool, which will save at least $ 30,000 per annum, when the mills 
are in full operation." 


We find, in Brewster'' s Philosophical Magazine for September, a 
paper communicated by W. R. Birt, on the production of lightning 
by rain. The author's attention was attracted to this subject by a 
question put in the report of the Committee on Physics of the Royal 
Society, who say, — *' There is one point to which we wish that some 
attention might be paid ; it is the sudden gush of rain which is al- 
most sure to succeed a violent detonation immediately overhead. Is 
this rain a cause or consequence of the electric discharge % We are not 
aware that the former view has ever been maintained or even sug- 
gested. Yet it is very defensible. In the sudden agglomeration of 
many minute and feebly electrified globules into one rain-drop, the 
quantity of the electricity is increased in a greater proportion than 
the surface over which (according to the laws of electric distribution) 
it is spread. Its tension, therefore, is increased, and may attain the 
point when it is capable of separating from the drof to seek the sur- 
face of the doud^ or of the nexrly formed descending body of rain, 
which, undey: such circumstances, ai^d with respect to electricity of 
such a tension, may be regarded as a conducting medium. Arrived 
at this surface, the tension, for the same reason, becomes enormous, 
and a flash escapes." As we have said, Mr. Birt was induced by 
this paragraph to commence some observations on the fall of rain 
during thunderstorms, and his first opportunity was on July 25th, 
when, during a thunderstorm, a sudden gush of heavy rain occurred, 
which, within two seconds, was succeeded by a vivid flash of light- 
ning, and the thunder of course followed this. On the 26th, he had 
several opportunities of noticing, as there were a number of showers 
during the day, and on every occasion he is quite certain that the 
sudden gush of rain preceded the electric discharge. The storm of 
the 26th was a very severe one, and several houses were struck in the 
immediate vicinity of the writer's residence at Bethnal Green. He is 
of the opinion, that, as is suggested in the passage quoted above, an 
agglomeration of the smaller drops took place, increasing the electric 
tension to such an enormous extent, that a flash escaped in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood of the houses struck, and thus entered them. 


This country affords much better opportunities than Great Britain 
for observing the phenomena connected with thunderstorms, on ac- 
count of their being more frequent and severe, and it is therefore to be 
desired that some of our scientific men should commence a series of 
observations with a view of ascertaining whether rain is really the 
cause of lightning. 


The connection of the aurora borealis with electricity, a fact 
which has been taken for granted since the days of Franklin, has only 
lately been fully established. Mr. E. C. Herrick, of New Haven, has 
recently observed an electrical action on the wires of the telegraph 
at that place during the occurrence of an aurora. The same fact 
has been also noticed in England and on the Continent during the last 
year. During the aurora of the 17th of November, 1848, the tele- 
graph at Watrord, England, was violently affected for many hours. On 
several occasions the electric current passing was sufficiently powerful 
to attract the movable armature of the stationary electro*magnet of 
a bell apparatus, so as to allow the alarm to be sounded. To effect 
this, the pressure of one third of an ounce was found by experiment 
to be necessary, and from a calculation based on the length and thick- 
ness of the wires, it is supposed that the power of an aurora, if sim- 
ilarly extended over a square mile of surface, would be equivalent to 
the lifting of seventy-five tons. It has not been fully ascertained, 
whether the action is one of ^actual transfer of electricity from the 
space at one end of the wire to that at the other, or whether it is an 
inductive action of the aurora at a distance, disturbing for an instant 
the electrical equilibrium of the wire. 


We find in the London Mechanic's Magazine a notion of a novel 
method of discharging a Leyden battery, which has lately been ex- 
hibited before the rolytechnic Institution. In this new method the 
jars are arranged ip a series, with the knob of each in connection 
with the outer coating of the next in the series, as has often been 
done heretofore in the process of charging them. In our case, how- 
ever, they are charged separately, or are first connected together in 
a battery in the ordinary way. When ready to be discharged, they 
are by a simple movement all insulated and arranged in a series as 
described above, which may be made to take a semicircular or U form, 
in order to bring the knob of the jast jar in the series into convenient 
proximity to the outer coating of the first jar. The effect of this ar- 
rangement is to multiply the intensity in a manner analogous to that 
of the galvanic battery, so that if the outer coating of the first jar be 
supposed to be in connection with the earth, and the number of jars 
be twelve, the knob of the last jar will be twelve times more highly 
electrified than the knob of either jar was before being thrown into 
the series. The disruptive or space-penetrating force is consequently 


greatly increased, and a battery of twelve large jars is said to have 
been discharged through a space of about three feet The quantity 
of the spark, however, is only that of a single jar, and therefore, to 
pursue experiments satisfactorily, large jars must l^e used, with an 
abundant source of electricity from a poweirful machine. In order to 
make the change in the arrangement of the jars, each jar is support- 
ed in a horizontal position on a vertical spindle, and a slight turn giv- 
en to each spindle at once brings them from the position they are 
placed in for charging into the series described. 


, At the late meeting of the British Association for the Advancement 
of Science, Mr. W. S. Ward produced a paper on this subject, and 
stated that a series of calculations, founded on data, produced to the 
Chemical Section at Swansea, showed the efficient power of three 
generally useful forms of battery, known as Smee's, DanielPs, and 
Grove's, would be equal when 100 pairs of Smee's, 55 pairs of Dan- 
iell's, or 34 pairs of Grove's were used, and that the expense of work- 
ing such batteries, as regards a standard of 60 grains of zinc in each 
cell per hour, would be about Qd,, 7iid,, and Sd., respectively. 

This communication led to some conversation on the economy of 
the various batteries, and the processes for plating ; in the course of 
which Mr. Shaw and Dr. Percy instanced the magneto-electro ma- 
chines which are employed at Birmingham for electro- plating, in 
which the current cost of the motive power — viz. a steam-engine 
to put the magneto-electric machine in action — was the only working- 
cost Mr. Elkington stated that they had never been induced to 
abandon the voltaic battery which they employed in their manufactory, 
finding it more economical than the magneto-electrical machine, of 
which he was the patentee. He also stated the remarkable fact, that 
a few drops of the sulphuret of carbon, added to the cyanide of silver, 
in the decomposing cell, has the property of precipitating the silver 
perfectly bright, instead of being granulated so dead as it is when 
thrown down from the solutions ordinarily employed. — London Aihe- 
niBum, September. 


The London AthemBum furnishes the following ingenious applica- 
tion of electricityj by means of which signals are given that indicate 
the pressure of steam in the boiler of an engine. The invention is 
by Mr. Ajrthur Dunn. '* Tubes being filled with mercury are made 
part of a galvanic circuit, and coryiected with bells as the mercury 
rises from increasing pressure in the boiler ; the circuit is thus com- 
pleted, and the bells respectively rung indicate the amount of pres- 
sure. In this way attention is called to the condition of the steam 
the moment it exceeds its ordinary and safe working condition." 



It is well known that Congress at its last session appropriated 
$ 10,000 to be paid to Dr. Locke for one of his electro-chronographs, 
to be erected by him at the National Observatory in Washington. 
This instrument has now been finished in Boston and forwarded to its 
destination. Much curiosity has been excited in regard to this impor- 
tant invention, and we have compiled from a great variety of sources a 
description, which it is hoped will serve to convey some idea of the 
working and purpose of the electro-chronograph. 

The object of this instrument is for the determination of the exact 
period, to the hundredth or even the thousandth part of a second, of a 
transit or other astronomical observation by which longitude may be 
ascertained. The difference of longitude of any two places, it is well 
known, is determined by observing the period of the occurrence of 
certain celestial phenomena, such as eclipses, transits, occultations, 
&c. In order to insure perfect accuracy, the utmost exactitude in 
regard to time^ even to the fractional part of a second, is desirable. 
The usual practice has heretofore been for the observer to note the 
exact time of the transit or other phenomena by listening to the beats 
of a clock or chronometer, and estimating the fraction of a second be- 
tween two beats when the event occurs. This requires a nicety of 
hearing only attained by long practice, and, when attained, still far 
from being a perfect measure of lime. By the invention of Dr. 
Locke, the observer can record the fjavt liiuc on a fillet of piipur, 
without taking his eye from the telescope. 

The instrument of Dr. Ijocke, which he has termed an filectro- 
Chronograph, is a combination of the magnetic clock, Morse's tele- 
graphic register, and a break-circuit key, or instrument for interrupt- 
ing the magnetic circuit. The first, or magnetic clock, was invented 
in England, by Mr. Wheatstone, about the year 1841. An invention 
of a similar character was also made by Mr. Bond, of the Observ^ory 
at Cambridge. Its object is to make several clocks on the same tele- 
graph line, even at a distance of hundreds of miles, mark the same 
instant of time. This is done by breaking the circuit of the magnet- 
ic fluid at each second of time. The method of interrupting the cir- 
cuit in the clock of Dr. Locke is different from that adopted by 
Wheatstone, and has this advantage, that it cannot alter the rate of 
the most delicate astronomical clock. With this clock is combined a 
register, by which, instead of the beats of the clock at one extremity 
of the telegraph line being made audible only, as was contemplated 
by Wheatstone, they are made visible as well as audible, by being 
imprinted on a fillet of paper which revolves around a drum. In the 
Morse register, when the magnetic circuit is unbroken, a continuous 
line is made. 

The magnetic clock of Dr. Locke interrupts the circuit at each 
second, and produces breaks which represent the second on the fillet 
of paper at the other end of the line. _ 

The dashes or lines between each break are exactly of a length, 
and each break represents a second. By an ingenious arrangement 



of the machinery, the end of each minute, of each five minutes, and 
of each hour, is represented, so that the exact period when an obser- 
vation is made may be determined without counting the seconds. 

The beginning of a minute is recorded by the omission of a break 
between two seconds, when the confluent lines extend, say an inch. 
The commencement of an hour is indicated by a line of double the 
length of the five-minute line. 

The remaining part of this chronograph is the break-circuit key, by 
which the period when an observation is made is detennined. The 
astronomer at any station on a line of several thousand miles in length, 
may imprint on the register the date of any event by simply tapping, 
after the manner of playing upon a piano, upon a break-circtiit key. 
This imprints in the indented line a corresponding break-circuit space,- 
Two or three spaces may be printed in one second, if desired. Two 
seconds of time is ample for the equatorial interval of the wires of a 
transit instrument. The network of spider-lines is divided into some 
nine or more tallies, or distinct groups of five wires each. All these 
tallies in the case of the transit of a star are imprinted on the regis- 
ter in the time occupied by the ordinary method for a single tally, to 
;which a transit has been usually limited. The skill required for tap- 
ping on the key at the instant of the bisection of a star is easily ac- 
quired, and the accuracy of each imprint is much greater than that of 
a single record by the common method. The imprints furnish a per- 
petual record of the date of the event, and may be read off with 
great rapidity to the hundredth of a second, by means of a graduated 
scale of the paper used for registering. 

Those who understand the general principles of the magnetic tele- 
graph will readily comprehend the main principles of this invention. 
The value of it can only be estimated by the astronomer. In deter- 
mining longitude, the observations of many nights, even for years, 
havp heretofore been necessary in order to secure accuracy. With 
one of the clocks of Dr. Locke, the difference of longitude between 
the National Observatory at Washington and any other point reached 
by magnetic telegraph may be determined in one night so closely ca 
to show in what part of the building the observations were made, 

Lieut. Maury, in a letter to the Navy Department, after describing 
the instrument, says : — "Its powers are such that the astronomer in 
New Orleans, St. Louis, Boston, and every other place to which 
the magnetic telegraph reaches, may make his observations, and at 
the same moment cause this clock, here in Washington, to record the 
instant with wonderful precision. Thus, the astronomer in Boston 
observes the transit of a star as it flits through the field of his instru- 
ment and crosses the meridian of that place. Instead of looking at 
a clock before him, and noting the time in the usual way, he touches 
a key, and the clock here subdivides his seconds to the minutest frac- 
tion, and records the time with unerring accuracy. The astronomer 
in Washington waits for the same star to cross his meridian, and, as 
it does. Dr. Locke's magnetic clock is again touched ; it divides the 
seconds and records the time for him with equal precision. The di^ 
ference between these two times is the longitude of Boston from the 


meridian of Washington. The astronomer in New Orleans, and St. 
liouis, and every other place within the reach of the magnetic wires, 
may wait for the same star, and, as it comes to their meridian, they 
hare hut to touch the key, and straightway this central magnetic 
clock tells their longitude. 

''And thus this problem, which has vexed astronomers and naviga- 
tors, and perplexed the world for ages, is reduced at once, by Ameri- 
can ingenuity, to a form and method the most simple and accurate. 
While the process is so much simplified, the results are greatly re- 
fined. In one night the longitude may now be determined with far 
more accuracy by means of themagnetic telegraph and dock than it can 
by years of observation according to any other method that has ever been 

In a later letter Lieut. Maury says : — *' The magnetic telegraph now 
extends through all the States of the Union, except, perhaps, Arkan- 
sas, Texas, and on the frontier ; so that a splendid field is pre- 
sented for doing the world a service by connecting, for difference of 
longitude through means of magnetic telegraph and clock, all the 
principal points of this country with this Observatory (Washington). 
In anticipation of such extension of the wires, I ordered an instru- 
ment for the purpose, and it has recently arrived. It is intended to 
determine latitude also, — so that by its means and this clock I hope, 
during the year, to know pretty accurately the geographical position 
of Montreal, Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, &.C., and 
their difference of longitude from this place, quite as correctly as the 
difference between Greenwich and Paris has been established by the 
usual method and after many years of observation." 


The specification of the invention, by means of which a letter 
written in London may be copied verbatim et literatim in Liverpool, 
discloses the means by which this is to be accomplished. Wonderful 
as it seems, to have the power to produce a facsimile of writing in- 
stantaneously at any distance, the mode of operation is extremely 
simple. The writing materials consist of tinfoil, varnish, and a 
quill pen. The letter thus written is applied to a cylinder ; a metal 
style or point presses on the writing as the cylinder revolves ; and 
the point being attached to a screw, it moves gradually along from 
one end of the cylinder to the other. The tluread of the screw is 
sufiiciently fine for the point to traverse six or seven times over each 
line of writing before it passes by the revolution of the cylinder to 
the next. The point ifi connected with one pole of a voltaic battery, 
and the cylinder is connected with the other pole, so that the electric 
current may pass from the former to the latter ; but as varnish is a 
non-conductor of electricity, the circuit is interrupted whenever the 
point presses on the varnish-writing. The distant telegraphic instru- 
ment is an exact counterpart of the one that transmits ; but, in place 
of the tinfoil, paper, moistened with a solution readily decomposed by 
electricity, is applied to the cylinder. Thus the electric current trans- 


mitted through the ordinary telegraphic wires is made to pass from 
the metal points to the cylinders of the two instruments, through the 
interposed moistened paper on one, and through the tinfoil on the 
other. When the metal point of the transmitting instrument is press- 
ing on the hare tinfoil, the electric circuit is completed through the 
paper on the distant cylinder, and hy the decomposition of the solu- 
tion a mark is made ; when the point is pressing on the varnish, the 
circuit is interrupted and the marking ceases. In this manner, the 
point of the transmitting instrument, by passing several times over 
each line in different parts from the top to the bottom, produces an 
exact copy of the forms of the letters ; the writing appearing pale- 
colored on a dark blue ground, consisting of numerous lines made 
spirally round the cylinder. 

It is essential to the correct working of the instruments that they 
should rotate exactly together, and this Mr. Bakewell has accomplish- 
ed by the regulating power of electro-magnets brought into action at 
regular intervals by means of pendulums. By means of a guide-line 
the operator at the copying-station can tell with accuracy whether his 
instrument is moving faster or slower than the other, and thus regu- 
late the pendulum. Cylinders six inches in diameter may be regula- 
ted to revolve thirty times in a minute and produce distinct copies of 
writing. The rate of copying gives 400 letters, per minute with a 
single wire, and with two wires and two points that number would be 
doubled. — London Spectator , June 23. 


A Mr. Johnson, of Oswego, has invented a new machine for tele- 
graphic purposes. The principle of it is new, in the fact that jt uses 
shot, or the dropping of shot, to make marks, indentations, or signs, 
on a white sheet of paper. The motive-power of electricity, or of 
magnetism, Mr. Morse does not presume to patent, but he has patentr 
ed the use of it for making signs, and what we call the power of in- 
vigorating the current of electricity by relays of batteries. Mr. John- 
son uses the common motive-power of electricity to drop his shot, but 
when the shot are dropped, then another very simple arrangement 
makes with them the mark on the paper. These shot return in an 
ever-revolving wheel, and thirty of them do all the work. 


On the fourth day of the sitting of the American Association at 
Cambridge, Mr. S. C. Walker, Assistant of the U. S. Coast Survey, 
at the direction of the Superintendent, communicated the substance of 
his recent Report on the Experience of the Coast Survey in regard to 
Telegraphic Operations. We give all that seems important 

'^ The first mention of the electro-magnetic telegraph, in connec- 
tion with longitude operations, as far as I know, was made, in 1837, 
by M. Arago to Dr. Morse. 

<* The first practical application of the method was by Capt. Wilkes, 


in 1844, between Washington and Baltimore. Two chronometers, 
preyiously rated by astronomical observations in the vicinity, were 
brought to the two telegraph offices, and were compared together 
through the medium of the ear, without coincidence of beats. This 
process is accurate enough for geographical or nautical purposes; 
but its precision stops short of the mark where the requirements of 
geodesy begin. In fact, two clocks beating the same kind of time, 
when placed side by side, cannot be compared together, by the human 
ear, with sufficient precision for geodetical purposes. The subse- 
quent experience of the Coast Survey has shown, that where several 
astronomers make Independent comparisons of clocks, in this manner, 
two seconds of arc, or twelve hundredths of a second of time, is an 
average discrepancy between their results. 

'* The subject of telegraph operations for longitude had engaged 
the attention of the Superintendent of the Coast Survey previous to 
the experiment of Capt. Wilkes ; but the orders received by me for 
this purpose bear date November 24, 1845. In 1846, the very first 
season in which two astronomical stations of the Survey were 
brought in connection by the Morse telegraph lines, the work of con- 
necting them together in longitude was commenced in earnest by 
the Superintendent of the Coast Survey. The cooperation of the 
National Observatory, as one of the stations, was freely tendered by 
its Superintendent, Lieut. Maury, U. S. N., and accepted by Prof. 

'* Another station was established at Philadelphia, under the superin- 
tendence of Prof. Kendall, and still another at Jersey City under 
Prof. Loomis. 

*' Owing to the imperfect insulation of the lines, the connection of 
Jersey City, with Washington failed that year ; but the Washington 
and Philadelphia stations were connected together astronomically on 
the 10th and ^*2d of October. The method of comparison by coinci- 
dence of beats of solar and sidereal timekeepers, was not introduced 
this year ; but the equivalent one was employed, viz., the exchange 
of star-signals. These are the dates of instants of the passage of a 
star over the wires of the eye-piece of the transit instrument, signal- 
ized by tapping on the telegraph key at one station, and recording it 
on the Morse register at both. 

*' In 1846, we connected together in longitude the Washington and 
Philadelphia stations. In 1847, the programme left unfinished in 
1846, by the imperfection of the lines, was resumed and completed, 
and Washington, Philadelphia, and Jersey City were connected to- 
gether. On the 27th of July, 1847, the method of coincidence of 
beats, used so successfully by R. T. Paine, Esq., in the chronometric 
operations for longitude in Massachusetts, and by Struve and Airy in 
their chronometric enterprises, was applied to the telegraphic compar- 
isons of the Philadelphia and Jersey City clocks. This method of 
coincidences was used in combination with exchanges of star signals 
in the telegraphic operations of the Coast Survey in 1848, when the 
Cambridge Observatory, under Prof. Bond, and the Stuyvesant Station 
in New York, were connected together by the Coast Survey. 



'< In October, 1848, Cincinii&ti was oonneeted with Philadelphia. 
The labon of the year 1848 comprise some 1,800 observed transits of 
stars, 800 comparisons of chronometers by coincidences of beats taken 
at the stations, 5,000 transits over wires, for determining the personal 
equations of the officers of the Survey, many thousand exchanges 
of personal clock signals, and 600 star-transit signals. If even Uiis 
prodigious accumulation of statistics was considered a gain of many 
fold over the old method of obtaining astronomical longitudes, what 
shall we say of the automatic process employed in 1849, where one 
night^s exchange of star-signals between Philadelphia and the Seaton 
Station, printed automatically on a single sheet of paper, is worth 
the whole list of statistics collected by the Coast Surrey between 
Philadelphia *and Washington in 1847 ? 

** In my report of December 15, 1848, feeling the responsibility under 
which I acted, I spoke with caution on the subject of the comparative 
excellence of the automatic printing method ; though some of my 
friends thought that its merits were overrated. I apj^aled to the ex- 
periments that were to be made in the campaigns of 1849 for a test ok 
the new method. That which was then anticipation only, is now re- 
ality ; and I am able to say, from recent trials, between Cambridge 
and Washington, and between the Seaton Station under my care at 
Washington, and the stations at Philadelphia and Hudson, Ohio, 
that the excellence of the new method surpasses all that I ventured 
to hope for in December last. I then ventured to claim for the auto- 
matic printing method a tenfold gain over the old one. I now find 
that one transit over one wire is worth four wires by the old method, and 
that ten transits over wires may now be printed, where one was done be- 
fore ; making a gain by the new or automatic method of some forty fold. 
I mean by this the gain from multiplication of transits over wires, and 
superior precision of each. We cannot in one night obtain the advan- 
tage of the average of the meteorological peculiarities of forty." 

After enumerating the registers of Morse, of Mitehell, and the 
chemical method of registering with the main circuit, he says: — '' The 
fourth form of the register is Mr. Saxton's invention of this year. It 
is somewhat on the plan of his celebrated ruling-machine. The 
cylinder now before the Association contains the culmination of the 
planet Neptune and the stars near his parallel, printed by me at the 
Seaton Station, August 11, 1849. It might seem that the subject of 
the place of the planet Neptune is foreign to the purpose of telegraph 
operations. Such is not the case ; for we have used this planet as a 
fundamental star. I take occasion, therefore, to remark, that the ob- 
servations of the culmination of Neptune on four nights in the month 
of August at the Seaton Station, by PourtaBs and myself, show that 
my ephemeris, published by Prof. Henry in the Smithsonian Con- 
tributions to Science, agrees with the heavens within half a second 
of arc From this close agreement it may be inferred, that, if the 
Neptune of Prof. Peirce's theory and my elements were conceived to 
be a planet, placed side by side in the heavens with the true one 
ever since its discovery, the two would form a double star of an order 
so close that not even the great Cambridge refractor could detect 
their duplicity. 


'^ An objection has been urged to the Morse registerini? fillet, that it 
is too TolumtDOus for the quantity of matter recorded. This objection, 
and that of expensiveness, occur with more force to the metallic cylin- 
der, however accurate be its indications. To remedy this evil Mr. 
Saxton has contrived a sheet of paper which incloses the cylinder and 
lasts for about two hours of constant work. The sheets and register- 
ing fillets now submitted for the inspection of the Association con- 
tain the comparison of the printed record of the culmination of the 
stars in the Dolphin. The Saxton sheet, the chemical fillet, and the 
Morse fillet, are triplicate records of the san>e identical star-signals. 
The result of the reading, as far as experiments have beeir made, is, 
that all kinds of registers at the same place read alike. It is worthy 
of remark, that these registers contain the printed record of the tran- 
sits of both components of the double star Gramma Delphini, printed 
with ease on each of the forty-five wires of the Wurdeman's dia- 
phragm, making ninety imprints in a culmination. From my experi- 
ence in printing the transit of this pair of double stars, I am led to 
the conclusion, that four stars forming a quadruple star, when at prop- 
er distance, may all be printed at the time of their transit over a dia- 
phragm of fifty wires, making two hundreds imprints for one transit, 
a rapidity of playing on the key far below that of good execution on 
the piano. 

'< Of the dififerent kinds of registers I prefer the sheet of Mr. Saxton. 
One sheet filled on both sides, or two pages, will contain an ordinary 
night's work. A year's work will make a book of some three hun- 
dred pages, on the margin of which may be entered the ordinary re- 
marks for an observing-book, relative to the state of the level and 
meteorological instruments, name of stars observed, and instrumental 
deviations. If folded up, or bound and put away for a century, the 
reduction of the work will then be as easy as at first. In fact, we 
may, with the metallic cylinder, electrotype the plate ; or, using cop- 
per, we may print from it without. And, in the case of the paper 
sheet, instead of Saxton 's graver, with Indian ink, we may employ 
a pen, with lithographic ink, and multiply copies at pleasure, when- 
ever we choose. When we consider the compactness of the register 
on Saxton 's sheet, we may perhaps find that the publication of transit 
observations will best be made by the lithographic process; applied to 
the printed telegraph sheets ; thus giving to the world the printed record 
with all the accuracy of a Daguerreotype. The registering fillet now 
exhibited to the Association contains the culmination of both limbs of 
the moon, printed by myself, on the 3d of August last, on 35 wires 
of the diaphragm. By the mean of the results, the probable error of 
the imprint of a transit of a single limb over a single wire is the six- 
teenth of a second ; whereas, in 1846, with the great Washington 
Equatorial, and a power of 300, 1 found that, with the old method, 
my probable error by 66 trials was twice as great, namely, the 
eighth of a second. Thus it appears that the measure of precision 
is twice, and the weight four times, as great, in the new method, as 
in the old. No labor of training for the work is needed. 

'* A hundred wires is a high estimate for a night's work of an obser- 


Tatory, by the old method. I have printed fifteen hundred wires with- 
out fatigue, in one night, by the new. Since each wire is worth four 
of those of the old method, we have six thousand to one hundred, or 
sixty to one, as the relative efficiencies of the night's observations. 

" When we reflect that the probable error of one transit over one 
wire is only the sixteenth of a second, and that with five wires it 
is only a thirty-sixth part, or three hundredth of a second, it is man- 
ifest that one tally, or five wires, is ample for all ordinary work. In 
fact, one wire is sufficient for most of the purposes of astronomy. I 
have been led, on consideration of all the facts known from the ex- 
perience of the Coast Survey, to make the following remark relative 
to the precision of our work, after proper adjustment of the transit 
instrument, or measurement of its deviations from a normal state : — 
The printed transit of a fundamental star over any one wire of Wur- 
demon's diaphragm, and that of a star, planet j or comet, whose place 
is sought, over another wire, — both reduced to the centre, on the suppo^ 
sition of uniformity of interval, — give the place of the object sought 
with a precision not much below that on which rest the present elements 
of all the bodies in the solar system.*' 


A GENTLEMAN by the name of Brett has obtained from the French 
government the authorization to establish an electric telegraph be- 
tween Calais and Boulogne, which, crossing the Channel under the 
water, will go to Dover, on the coast of England. The arrangement 
entered into guarantees certain advantages to the French government, 
and leaves all the expense to Mr. Brett, securing him, however, a 
privilege for ten years, in case the experiment should succeed. The 
work must be terminated by the 1st of September, 1850, at the latest. 

Experiments to test the practicability of effecting an electric com- 
munication beneath the surface of the ocean, for considerable dis- 
tances, have recently been made at the harbour of Folkestone, Eng- 
land. Upwards of two miles of wire, coated with gutta-percha, were 
submerged in the sea, along the mouth of the harbour. One end of 
the wire was conne6ted with a telegraphic instrument on the deck of a 
steamer, and the other end with a wire communicating with the Lon- 
don telegraph. Messages were sent back and forth with no greater 
difficulty than with the ordinary wires on land. The insulation effect- 
ed by gutta-percha is, no doubt, most perfect. The experiments of 
Faraday have shown that it is one of the most perfect electrical insu- 
lations with which we are acquainted. How far it may be acted upon 
by the chlorine, iodine, &c., contained in sea-waters, is a question 
which has not yet been solved. 

The wire used in this experiment was, when covered with gutta- 
percha, about a quarter of an inch in diameter ; but this is much 
smaller than that which it is proposed to stretch across the Channel. 
It is believed that the kind of wire proper to be used, is the twisted 
iron wire, coated so thickly with gutta-percha as to be nearly three 
quarters of an inch in diameter, m order to guard against interrup- 


tion, saoh as would be liable to arise from the fracture of the wire, it 
is proposed to stretch two or three lines across the Channel, in differ- 
ent places, at such distances from each other as to render it improl>- 
able that all would be broken the same day. In the event of one 
being fractured, a repair oould be easily effected in a short time, by 
means of steamers, kept continually in readiness on both sides of the 
Channel, for fishing up and discovering the broken wire. The im- 
mense business of a line of telegraph between London and Paris 
would, it is thought, justify a much greater expense than is involved 
in the arrangement indicated. — English Paper, 


Bertin, in an examination of the rotation of the plane of polariza- 
tion by the electro-magnet, or the wire helix, has been the first to 
estaUish, under various circumstances, the law, that the rotation is 
always in the direction of the magnetizing current, or of the currents 
which, according to Ampere, would be set up, under the influence of 
the electro-magnet, in a piece of soft iron, placed in the position of 
the substance employed. 

It was considered, till lately, as an established fact, that the mag- 
netism of steel magnets was entirely destroyed by a white heat, and 
that at this temperature even iron no longer obeyed the attraction of 
the magnet. Pouillet, indeed, had stated that cobalt remained mag- 
netic even at a very high temperatui:e, but that, cm the contrary, the 
magnetism of chromium disappeared at a heat somewhat below red- 
ness, and that of nickel at 350^, Recently, however, Faraday has 
found by experiments with powerful electro-magnets, that even white- 
hot iron, and nickel heated hi above 350^, still followed the attrac- 
tion ; and Piiicker has more closely examined the behaviour of the 
magnetic and diamagnetic properties under increasing temperature. 

Faraday considered that it might be concluded from his experi- 
ments, that by an appropriate mixture of magnetic and diamagnetic 
substances, a perfectly neutral body might be produced; Piiicker, 
however, has been led by his observations to an opposite conclusion. 
The latter concludes, from a variety of experiments, that the diamag- 
netism increases more rapidly than the magnetism, with an increasing 
power in the electro-magnet ; and he considers it to be quite indiffer- 
ent whether the increase of the intensity arises from the employment 
of a greater number of cells, or from a closer approximation to the 
poles. If these results are perfectly accurate, no absolutely neutral 
body can exist ; for a body which behaves as neutral at any given 
distance will be magnetic at a greater, diamagnetic at a less distance. 
— Li^g^s Annual Report, 


At the meeting of the Academy of Sciences, at Paris, on May 
Slst, M . Edmond Becquerel communicated a paper upon the effects 
of magnetism upon all bodies. The following are his deductions : — 



1. All bodies become magnetic, as soft iron does, under the influence 
of a magnet, but in greater or less degree according to their nature. 

2. The temporary magnetism of a body does not depend upon its 
mass, but on the manner in which the ether is distributed in the body. 

3. A substance is drawn towards a magnetic centre by the difference 
of the actions exerted upon the substance and upon the volume of the 
medium^ displaced by it." The effects were measured by the tension 
developed upon small bars of the various substances by an enonnous 
electro-magnet. The continual oscillations are prevented by suspend- 
ing under each bar a small sphere of lead or zinc, immersed in water 
or a solution of chloride of calcium. 

*' Measuring, in this way, the actions exerted upon substances mov- 
ing in different media, I convinced myself of the enormous influence 
exerted by the surrounding medium. Thus, common glass, which in 
the air is attracted by the two poles of a magnet, is strongly repelled 
by these same poles when in solutions of iron or nickel ; sulphur and 
white wax, which in the air are repelled by the centres of magnetic 
action, are attracted when they are immersed in concentrated solutions 
of chloride of calcium or chloride of magnesium." Upon the third 
general law announced above, he says, — ** Thus, a body is attracted 
or repelled by a magnetic centre, according as it is immersed in a 
medium less or more magnetic than itself. Thence it results that the 
attractions and repulsions exerted upon different bodies by either pole 
of a magnet near which they are brought, depend upon the same 
cause, and not upon two orders of phenomena." To explain the fact, 
that all bodies are not attracted in vacuo, and that some substances are 
almost as much repelled in vacuo as in air, *' it is necessary to admit 
that the ethereal medium by means of which magnetic actions are 
transmitted is influenced in the same way, but in a different degree in 
a void space and in one containing matter ; and that a void space be- 
haves like a medium more magnetic than the substance which is most 
repelled, that is to say, bismuth. Certain gases, as nitrogen, nitrous 
oxide, &c., experience no appreciable action from magnetism, but 
oxygen does, and the slight magnetic power of the air is due solely to 
the presence of oxygen. I found that a small bar of charcoal, which 
has condensed oxygen, oscillates between the poles of a strong mag- 
net like a small magnetized bar, whilst in vacuo it is generally repelled, 
and always feebly influenced, by the action of magnetism." 

** Comparing the power of oxygen with that of iron, we conclude 
that 10.78 cubic feet of air has an action represented by 1.65 grain 
of iron. If we reflect that the earth is surrounded by a mass of air, 
equal in weight to a stratum of mercury 30.4 inches in depth, it may 
be asked whether such a mass of magnetic gas does not interfere in 
the phenomena dependent on terrestrial magnetism, and perhaps in 
the diurnal variations of the magnetic needle, and if we calculate the 
magnetic power of this fluid mass, we find it equivalent to an im- 
mense sheet of iron, rather more than 0.004 of an inch in thickness, 
and covering the whole surface of the globe." The author concludes 
by saying, — " I do not, therefore, admit any difference between rfia- 
magnetism and magnetism proper." 




Mr. Faraday's discovery of diamagnetic phenomena is likely to lead 
rapidly to some important knowledge of the molecular forces which 
determine the conditions of the material creation. Pliicker, of Bonn, 
in a letter to a friend, says: — ** I replace the declination-needle by 
certain crystals suspended horizontally by a fibre of cocoon silk. 
They take, under the action of the earth's magnetism, a determinate and 
fixed direction. I can vary at will, and predict this with certainty ; 
and obtain crystals to act as needles which shall point constantly to- 
wards the poles of the earth, towards the magnetic poles, or to- 
wards some azimuthal point." 

In a later letter to Dr. Faraday, Pliicker says, — " The first and 
general law I deduced from my last experiments is the following. 
There will- be either repulsion or attraction of the optic axes by the 
poles of a magnet, according to the crystalline structure of the crystal. 
If the crystal is a negative one, there will be repulsion ; if it is a 
positive one, there will be attraction.^^ After some other remarks, 
he continues, — '* Cyanite is by far the most interesting crystal I 
examined. It points very well to the north by the magnetic power of 
the earth only. It is a true compass-needle, and more than that, you 
may obtain its declination. The crystal does not point according to 
the magnetism of its substance, hut only in obedience to the magnetic 
action upon its optical axes. If you approach to the north end of the 
suspended crystal the south pole of a permanent magnetic bar, strong 
enough to overpower the magnetism of the earth, the axis of the prism 
will make with the axis of the bar an angle exactly the same as it 
made before with the meridian plane, the crystal being directed either 
more towards the east, or more towards the west. The crystal, re- 
sembling in that also a magnetic needle, showed strong polarity ; the 
same end being always directed to the north. I think this may be a 
polarity of the opto-magnetic power. Between the goles of the strong 
electro-magnet, the permanent polarity disappeared as long as the 
magnetism was excited." 

Mr. Alger, in communicating to the American Association these 
discoveries of Pliicker, made some remarks concerning cyanite, which 
may perhaps render the subject a little clearer. He said, referring to 
the effect observed, — "This is, of course, founded on the recently 
discovered magnetic property of aluminum, but in the highly oxidized 
state in which this metal exists in cyanite, it would hardly seem pos- 
sible that the direction which the crystal assumes should be due to its 
metallic base ; nor can we suppose the presence of iron in sufiicient 
quantity to cause it ; yet we must place confidence in so high an 
authority. Pliicker finds, also, that there is some connection between 
the direction that cyanite assumes and its cleavage planes." The 
subject deserves Turther investigation, and Mr. Alger recommended 
American mineralogists to examine other aluminous minerals of the 
same class with respect to their magnetism. 



We find' in the Philosophical Transactions for 1849, Part I., a long 
paper bj Prof. Faraday, ** On the Crystalline Polarity of Bismuth 
and other Bodies, and on its Relation to the Magnetic Form of Force." 
The author states, that in preparing cylinders of bismuth, by casting' 
them in glass tubes, he had often been embarrassed by the anomalous 
magnetic results which they gave, and that, after a close investigation, 
he has referred the effects to the crystalline condition of the bismuth. 
If bismuth be crystallized in the ordinary way, and then a crystal, or 
a group of sjrmmetric crystals, be selected and suspended in the mag- 
netic field between horizontal poles, it immediately either points in a 
given direction, or vibrates about a given position, as a small mag- 
netic needle would do; and if distur&d from this position, it returns 
to it. On re-suspending the crystal, so that the horizontal line, which 
is transverse to the magnetic axis, shall become the vertical line, the 
crystal then points with its maximum degree of force. If it be again 
suspended so that the line parallel to the magnetic axis be rendered 
vertical, the crystal loses all directive force. This line of direction, 
therefore, which tends to place itself parallel to the magnetic axis, the 
author calls the magnecrystallic cutis of the crystal. It is perpendic- 
ular, or nearly so, to the brightest and most perfect of the four cleav- 
age planes of the crystal. Whether this magnecrystallic axis is 
parallel or transverse to the magnetic axis, the bismuth is in both 
cases repelled from a single or the stronger pole ; its diamagnetic 
relations being in no way affected. If the crystal be broken up, or if 
it be fused and solidified, and the metal be then subjected to the action 
of the magnet, the diamagnetic phenomena remain, but the magne- 
crystallic results disappear, because of the confused and opposing 
crystalline condition of the various parts. If an ingot of bismuth be 
broken up, and fragmentary plates selected which are crystallized 
uniformly throughout, these also point ; the magnecrystallic axis be- 
ing, as before, perpendicular to the chief plane of cleavage, and the 
external form, in 4his respect, of no consequence. 

The position of the crystal in the magnetic field is affected by the 
approximation of extra magnets or of soil iron ; but the author believes 
this to result, not from any attractive or repulsive force exerted on the 
bismuth, but only from the disturbance of the lines of force, or re- 
sultants of magnetic action, by which they acquire, as it were, new 
directions ; and, as the law of action which he gives is, that the line 
or axis of magnecrystallic force tends to place itself parallel, or as a 
tangent, to the magnetic curve, or line of magnetic force, passing 
through the place where the crystal is situated, so the crystal changes 
its position with any change of direction in these lines. 

Crystals of antimony, arsenic, native crystals of iridium and osmium, 
and crystallized titanium and tellurium gave similar results, but in 
different degrees. Crystals of zinc, copper, tin, lead, gold, &c., gave 
no signs of being magnecrystallic. Crystals of sulphate of iron are 
very strongly affected by the magnet according to this new condition, 
and the magnecrystallic axis is perpendicular to two of the planes of 


the ihomboidal pnsm, so that, when a long crystal is used, it will not, 
as a mass, point between the poles, bat across the line joining them. 
On the other hand, sulphate of nickel has its magnecrystallic axis 
parallel, or nearly so, to the length of the ordinary prism. Diamond, 
rock-salt, fluor-spar, boracite, red oxide of copper, oxide of tin, cin- 
nabar, galena, and many other bodies, presented no evidence of the 
magnecrystallic condition. 

Having thus stated the effects produced, Dr. F. enters upon the 
consideration of the nature of the magnecrystallic force. He found 
that bismuth has the same amount of repulsion when presenting its 
magnecrystallic axis paralld or transverse to the lines of magnetic 
force acting on it, and he was led by an ingenious series of experi- 
ments to conclude that it is neither attraction nor repulsion which 
determines the final position of a magnecrystallic body. 

He next considers it as a force dependent upon the crystalline con- 
dition of the body, and, therefore, associated with the original mo- 
lecular forces of the matter, and shows experimentally, that, as the 
magnet can move a crystal, so also the crystal can move a magnet ; 
and, also, that heat takes away this power jusl before the crystal 
fuses, and that cooling restores it in its original direction. Coming 
next to the question, whether the effects are due to a force altogether 
inherent in the crystal, or whether they are not partly induced by 
the magnetic or electric forces, he concludes that the force manifested 
in the magnetic field, which appears by external actions, and causes 
the motion of the mass, is almost entirely induced^ in a manner subject, 
indeed, to the crystalline force and additive to it, but at the same time 
exalting the force and the effects to a degree which they could not 
have approached without the induction. To this part of the force he 
apphes the word magneto-crystallic, in contradistinction from the word 
magnecrystcdlic, which is used to express the condition, quality, or 
|>ower which belongs essentially to the crystal. The author then con- 
tinues his investigations, and concludes with some appropriate remarks 
on the progress recently made in the knowledge of magnetism, its 
poweis and effects. 


^ It is well known that an opinion has prevailed among scientific men 
for a few years, that railway axles, after having been used for some 
time, become crystallized by galvanic action, and are then very easy 
of fracture. The subject was brought before the late meeting of the 
British Association by Mr. Greener, who, without questioning the 
fact, stated that the axles were affected with electricity generated by 
the bearings and the journal while in rapid motion. He said, that by 
subjecting inferior iron to currents of electricity, it soon was changed 
into a crystalline state, and lost its tenacity. Mr. Stephenson said, that 
it was dangerous to assume facts and reasoning from the assumptions 
of Mr. Greener. 

With respect to the influence of vibration on the structure of iron, 
he considered there was good room to doubt that the bearing force or 
pressure upon metals caused crystallization. It was by no means 



proved that railway axles were subject to the passage of currents of 
electricity, and therefore — granting the assumption that the passage 
of the electric current changed the character of the iron — there was 
a link wanting in the chain of reasoning, inasmuch as it was not 
proved that axles were subject to this electrical influence. Moreover, 
ne was inclined to doubt whether, if a piece of iron was at first per- 
fectly fibrous, vibration would ever change the structure of the metal. 
The beams of Cornish engines, for example, were subject to vast 
pressure, they never become crystallized ; the connecting-rod of a 
locomotive was subject to great vibration, strain, and pressure, vibrat- 
ing eight times a second when the velocity is forty miles an hour ; 
he had watched the wear of a rod for three years, and no change was 
perceptible in the structure of the iron. 


One source of error has constantly attended magnetic observations 
in the most perfectly constructed observatories. The approach even 
of the observer has been sufficient to produce a disturbance in the 
magnetfc needles or bars. This error, however, no longer exists. 
Each magnetic bar is made to carry a little mirror, which reflects the 
light of a lamp upon a piece of photographic paper kept constantly 
moving behind an opaque plate having but one small vertical opening. 
On this, for every minute of the twenty-four hours, each vibration of 
the needle is faithfully recorded. The chemical radiations of an 
Argand lamp supply the observer's place ; and at the same time, as 
It records every change in the phenomenon of terrestial magnetism, 
it is made to mark the most delicate alternations in atmospheric 
pressure, and to note every increase or diminution of temperature. 
At Greenwich, the magnets, the barometers, and the thermometers 
are all registered by the chemical power of light; and M. Faye and 
GonjoQ, at Paris, knowing the error of the human eye in observations 
on a bright object, have substituted the Daguerreotype plate for the 
purpose of ascertaining the actual diameter of the sun, and they pro- 
pose to the principal observatories of Europe to determine by a similar 
method the absolute time. Electricity now determines the longitude, 
and marks the transit bf a star, and the sun's rays perform equally im- 
portant offices to aid the natural philosopher in his delicate research 
for the truths which are as yet obscure. — London Atherueum^ March, 


Rev. Mr. Rankin stated at the last meeting of the British Asso- 
ciation, that he had found the northern half of a brazen meridian of a 
celestial globe to be so strongly magnetic as to deflect a small needle 
placed near it so much as eight points from its true direction, while 
the southern part of it seemed to be wholly free from magnetism. — 




Professor W. A. Norton, of Delaware College, has communi- 
cated to SHUmarCs Journal a long and interesting article upon this 
subject, which is at present exciting much discussion. He sa^s : — 
*' In a former memoir I gave zp. exposition of a new theory of Terres- 
trial Magnetism, of which the following are the fundamental princi- 
ples. 1. Every particle of matter at the earth's surface, and to a cer- 
tain extent below the surface, is the centre of a magnetic force exerted 
tangentially to the circumference of ©'very vertical circle that may be 
conceived to be traced around it. 2. The direction of this force is 
different, according as it solicits the north or south end of the needle ; 
and it is always such, that to the north of the acting particle the ten- 
dency is to urge the north end of the needle downward and the south 
end upward, and to the south of the same particle it is the opposite. 
3. The intensity of the magnetic force of a particle of the earth, at a 
given distance, is approximately proportional to its temperature, or 
amount of sensible heat ; and at increasing distances diminishes ac- 
cording to some unknown law. From these principles I deduced three 
simple formulae ; one, for the horizontal component of the directive 
force of the needle, or the horizontal magnetic intensity of the place ; 
a second, for the vertical intensity ; and a third, making known the 
declination. These formulee were afterwards tested by numerous 
comparisons with the results of observations made in every variety of 
locality in the northern hemisphere of the earth. The agreement was 
found to be very close, — the differences amounting only to a few hun- 
dredths for the horizontal and vertical forces, and less than 2° 40', and 
in most cases less than 1°, for the declination. The positions of the 
magnetic poles, the pole of maximum intensity, and the magnetic 
equator, were also theoretically deduced, and shown to correspond 
very closely with their observed positions. 

'^ In view of the whole discussion, the following great truths were 
supposed to have been established. 1. All the magnetic elements of 
any place on the earth may be deduced from the thermal elements of 
the same ; and all the great features of the distribution of the earth's 
magnetism may be theoretically derived from certain prominent fea- 
tures in the distribution of its heat. 2. Of the magnetic elements, the 
horizontal intensity is nearly proportional to the mean temperature, as 
measured by a Fahrenheit thermometer ; the vertical intensity is near- 
ly proportional to the difference between the mean temperatures at two 
points situated at equal distances north and south of the place, in a 
direction perpendicular to the isogeothermal line (that is, a line con- 
ceived to be traced through all points at which the mean temperature 
of the matter of the earth near its surface is the same as at the station 
of the needle) ; and in general the direction of the needle is nearly at 
right angles to the isogeothermal line. 3. As a consequence, the 
laws of the terrestrial distribution of the physical principles of mag- 
netism and of heat must be the same, or nearly the same ; and these 
principles themselves must be physically connected in the most inti- 


mate manner. 4. The principle of terrestrial magnetism, in so fiir as 
the phenomena of the magnetic needle are concerned, must be con- 
fined to the earth's sarface, or to a comparatively thin stratum of the 
mass of the earth. 6. The mechanical theory of terrestrial magnet- 
ism, which has been under discussion, must be true in all its essential 
features. 6. We may derive the magnetic elements by very simple 
formuke from a very small number of magnetic data, determined by 
observatioii and the mean annual temperature of the place. 

** From the theoretical investigation of t)ie normial state of the ter- 
restrial Doagnetic elements, I propose now to proceed to the discussion 
in the light of the same theory of their diurnal variations. This theory 
furnishes us the following general principles as a basis for this discu*- 
sion. I. The horizontal magnetic intensity is proportional to its tem- 
s perafcure. 8. The vertical intensity is proportional to the difference 
between the temperatures of two places situated at equal distances 
north and south of the isogeothermal line, in a direction perpendicular 
to it. 3. The direction of the needle is nearly perpendicttlar to the 
isogeothermal line. From these general principles we may draw the 
general condusions, that the variations of the horizontal and vertical 
magnetic intensities must be linked to the variations of the tempera- 
ture of the station of the needle and of the differences of temperature 
of places north and south of this, and that the variations of declina- 
tion must be connected with the variations in the position of the ideal 
line passing through all places which have the same actual tempera- 
ture as the given place ; which line may be called the true isogeother- 
mal line. If the latter conclusion be true, it may be added, that the 
variations of declination must also be connected with the variations in 
the differences of temperature of places situated to the east and west 
of the station of the needle." 

Professor Norton then gives a formula for the horizontal intensity 
of a place, furnished by the above theory, which is equivalent to the 
statement, that the mean horizontal magnetic force is proportional to 
the mean temperature. '* We have, therefore, to compare the diur- 
nal Yariati(His of the horizontal force with those of the temperature of 
the place. The theory strictly requires that the comparison should 
be with the daily variations in the absolute amount of sensible heat 
near the earth's surface, but from well-known facts it is evident that 
a rise or fall of surface-temperature will, in general, indicate an in- 
,crease or decrease of the total amount of heat. This sufElces for the 
inquiry which first arises, viz., whether the horizontal force increases 
and decreases with the total amount of heat." Professor N. then 
compares some curves arranged so as to show the mean daily varia- 
tion of the horizontal intensity with that of the temperature for the 
year 1844. It is found that the horizontal intensity attains its maxi- 
mum from 3 to 4, P. M., and that '^ the maximum temperature occurs 
at the same hour ; also that the intensity increases with the tempera- 
ture in the forenoon after 10 o'clock, and decreases with it in the af- 
ternoon and evening. The same correspondences are found in other 
years and quarters of years, with the qualification that the maximum 
horizontal intensity sometimes occurs an hour or two later than the 


mazimnm of temperature. They indicate that the daily variation of 
temperature is probably one cause of the variation of intensity. We 
find, further, that the horizontal force increases during the latter half of 
the night, till 5 or 6, A. M., and then decreases till 10, A. M., where- 
as the temperature falls steadily till 5 or 6, A. M., and after that be- 
gind to rise. Thus, in the one case there are two maxima and two 
minima, and in the other, only one of each. Again, while the tem- 
perature falls in the afternoon and evening as rapidly as it rises in the 
forenoon, the horizontal force decreases less rapidly during the former 
period than it increases during the latter ; and, as intimated, the max- 
imum of intensity is sometimes an hour or two later than the maximum 
of temperature. 

Here are discrepancies between the actual and the theoretical vari- 
ations of the horizontal force, which are to be accounted for. Profes- 
sor Norton calls them secondary variations, merely to distinguish 
them, without intending to imply that they are of minor importance. 
The inevitable inference from these discrepancies is, that if the dai- 
ly variation of temperature is one cause of the daily variation of the 
horizontal force, there must also be some other cause at work besides 
this. It seems probable, for various reasons, that this additional 
cause is merely some indirect effect of the variation of temperature ; 
the chief reason is, that the time of the secondary maximum of in- 
tensity moves backwards and forwards with the time of sunrise. 
Professor Norton then examines the subject with great minuteness by 
means of tables and facts ; he takes up the arguments for and against 
various causes, examines into the laws of the radiation of heat, and 
finally says, — " In view of all that has now been stated, it may be 
confidently affirmed, that if the cause of the two anomalous facts con- 
nected with the nocturnal loss of temperature be any meteorological 
phenomenon, it must be the deposition of vapor from the atmosphere 
in other forms than that of rain, and chiefly, therefore, in the form of 
dew. Either this must be the actual cause, or it must consist in the 
laws of the earth's cooling at night, irrespective of all atmospheric 
influences." A little farther on he states his conclusion in somewhat 
different words. '* I conclude that t^ cause of the nocturnal varia- 
tions of the horizontal force must either consist in variations in the 
amount of vapor deposited from the atmosphere, or be in some way 
connected with the upward flow of heat below the earth's surface." 
The author then takes up this latter alternative of the upward flow 
of heat, and concludes that it '' fails entirely to explain the unequal 
losses of temperature at night in different seasons of the year." 

Having come to this conclusion, that the secondary variations can be 
accounted for by nothing else than by the variation in the amount of 
dew deposited in different seasons, and in different hours of the night, 
and the consequent variation in the quantity of heat given out in the 
condensation of vapor into dew, he makes a minute examination into 
the quantity of dew that falls, and says, — ** I conclude, therefore, that 
the heat evolved from the dew, or condensed vapor, that falls at night, 
is nearly if not quite suflicient to reduce the theoretical decrease of 
temperature due to radiation down to the amount which actually ob- 



tains ; and that the variations in the quantity of dew that falls at 
night, from one season to another, are attended with sufficient varia- 
tions in the amount of heat imparted to the earth, to effect the changes 
observed in the nocturnal decrease of temperature during the year. I 
consider, that in the average of months the amount of dew deposited 
from hour to hour during any one night, and from night to night, must 
increase steadily from sunset to sunrise, and from summer to winter. 
It follows from these conclusions that the probable cause of the secon- 
dary variations of the horizontal force is to be found in the varying 
quantities of dew deposited from one hour to another, and from one 
season to another.'* After some further remarks, Professor Norton 
shows that the actual effects of dew will, in particular cases, account 
for the variations observed between his theory and the result as at 
first found, or in other words, it will account for the discrepancies be*- 
fore referred to. 

He next comes to the diurnal variations of the vertical magnetic in* 
tensity. The general theory is, that the vertical intensity is proportion- 
al to the difference of temperature of two places situated at equal dis- 
tances to the north and south of the station of the needle, and on a line 
perpendicular to the isogeothermal line. He finds that the actual statd 
of things agrees at least approximately with his theory. There is, how- 
ever, a slight discrepancy here also, for we find that the variations in 
the verticd intensity are generally less for the first and last than for 
the other two quarters of the year, while there is not an equal proper^ 
tionate difference in the variations of temperature. This discrepancy 
is probably owing to this, that instead of taking the difference between 
the temperatures at the earth's surface, we should take the difference 
between the average temperatures of the stratum just below the sur- 
face, which is subject to a daily variation of temperature. This must 
be settled, however, by further investigation. 

The last subject treated of is the diurnal variations of the declina- 
tion. In this particular the general theory is, that the needle is near- 
ly perpendicular to the isogeothermal line, that is, that the mean 
position of the needles is at right angles to the ideal line passing 
through those places which have the same mean annual temperature. 
This, Professor Norton considers to be also rendered probable by vari- 
ous facts which he states. He has some very correct remarks to the 
effect, that no theory should be rejected because, while it seems to ac- 
cord with facts in all its important points, there are some minor dis- 


At the meeting of the Royal Society of London, on the 24th of 
May, W. R. Grove, Esq., read an interesting paper **0n the Direct 
Production of Heat by Magnetism." The author recites the experi- 
nients of Marrian, Beatson, Wertheim, and De la Rive, on the phe- 
nomenon which was discovered some years ago, that soft iron, when 
magnetized, emits a sound, or musical note. He also mentions an 
experiment of his own, where a tube was filled with the liquid in 


which inagDetie oxide had been prepared, and surrounded by a coil ; 
this exhibited to the spectator looking through it, an increase of the 
transmitted light when the coil was electrized. All these experi- 
ments, he considers, go to prove that, wheneyer magnetization takes 
place, a change is produced in the molecular condition of the sub- 
stances magnetized ; and it occurred to him that, if this be the case, by a 
species of molecular friction heat might be produced. In proving the 
correctness of these conjectures, many difficulties presented them- 
selves, the principle of which was, that, with electro-magnets, the 
heat produced by the electrized coil surrounding them might be ex- 
pected to mask any heat developed by the magnetism. This interfer- 
ence he eliminated by surrounding the poles of an electro-magnet 
with cisterns of water, and by this means, and by covering the keeper 
with flannel and other expedients, he was enabled to produce, in a 
cylindrical cast-iron keeper, when rapidly magnetized and demagnet- 
ized, a rise of temperature several degrees beyond that which obtain- 
ed in the electro-magnet, and which therefore could not have been due 
to the radiation of heat from it. By filling the cisterns with water 
colder than the electro-magnet, the latter could be cooled, while the 
keeper was being heated by magnetization. Subsequently, distinct 
thermio#effects were detected in a bar of sofl iron, placed opposite to a 
rotating permanent steel magnet. To separate the effects of magneto- 
electrical currents, the author then made experiments with non-mag- 
netic metals and with silico-borate of lead, substituted for the iron 
keepers, but no thermic effects were developed. He then tried the 
magnetic metals, nickel and cobalt, and obtained thermic effects with 
both, in proportion to their magnetical intensity. The author then 
concludes by sajring that he considers that these experiments prove 
that, whenever a bar of iron or other magnetic metal is magnetized, 
its temperature is raised. — Mechanic's Journal. 


The polarization of heat, first announced by Berard, has been 
established by various experiments by Forbes and Melloni. Provost- 
age and Desaine have lately announced to the Academy of Sciences, 
at Paris, new investigations, showing, — Ist. That heat, traversing 
Iceland spar, is divided into two pencils, completely polarized in the 
plane of the principal section or a perpendicular plane. 2d. That the 
law ascertained by Malus, according to which the intensity of a ray 
completely polarized is divided between the ordinary and extraordi- 
nary images to which it gives origin in traversing the spar, is appli- 
cable to heat as well as light. 3d. That the variations of intensity 
which polarized heat experiences in its reflection from glass at differ- 
ent incidences, are exactly represented by FresnePs formulas deter- 
mined for light, only allowing that the solar heat traversing the prism 
has a little different index, 1.5. 4th. That there is a most perfect 
correspondence between the phenomena presented in the reflection 
from polished metals of polarized heat and polarized light. 



M. CLA.UOET has communicated to the British Association a paper 
*' On Researches on the Theory of the principal Phenomena of Photog- 
raphy in the Daguerreotype Process/' Light produces two differ- 
ent effects on the Daguerreotype plate, capable of giving an image. 
By one, the surface is decomposed, and the silver is precipitated as a 
white powder; this action is very slow. By the other, the parts 
affected by light receive an affinity for the mercurial vapor, and this 
metal is deposited in white crystals.- This action, which is the cause 
of the Daguerreotype image, is 3,000 times more rapid than the for- 
mer. The two cannot proceed from the same cause. The first is a 
chemical decomposition of the surface, while the second is a new prop- 
erty imparted to the surface to attract the vapor of mercury, which 
is given by some rays and withdrawn by others, the most refrangible 
rays being the ones which produce the affinity for mercury. M. 
Claudet has so improved his photographoroeter that he can compose 
upon the same plate a series of intensities in a geometrical progres- 
sion, varying from 1 to 512, or by employing two plates at the same 
moment, from 1 to 8,192. He is also enabled to study the modifica- 
tions produced on various intensities of effect by the radiation of half 
the light, through various colored glasses. M. Claudet has ascertained 
one remarkable and inexplicable fact, that the two foci for the same 
distance of an object sometimes coincide and sometimes vary very far 
from one another ; and the difference varies according to some un- 
known properties of the lenses, so that while the foci correspond in 
some lenses, they may be separated in others. — London Athenawnj 


Tus Comptes Rendus, of the 12th of February, contains the report 
of M. Biot and others, on the process discovered by M. Becquerel, of 
making photographic copies of colored objects with distinct impres- 
sions of the colors on the body so copied. The prospect, however 
remote at present, of being able to copy Nature in all the truth of 
color, gives great interest to every experiii^en> which leads to an 
advance in this particular. The main features of the new process 
are the following. The ordinary silver plate, well polished, is con- 
nected with the positive pole of a battery of two series, and then 
plunged into a large vessel containing diluted hydrochloric acid. In 
the same fluid is placed a third plate of platina, which communicates 
with the negative of the battery. This plate is brought very rapidly 
a short distance from and parallel to the other. Under these condi- 
tions, the plate assumes successively the colors of thin films ; at first a 
gray, then a yellow and violet tint, which passes, soon to a blue and 
to a green, and becomes afterwards rose-colored, then violet, and at 
last blue. The operation must be stopped as soon as a lilac tint ap- 
pears, and the plate withdrawn rapidly from the bath, washed with 
distilled water, and being placed in an inclined position, dried over a 


spirit-lamp. The plates thus prepared may be preserved in the dark 
for a long time. In diffused light, the surface of chloride of silver, 
thus prepared, becomes gray ; but if we project a very pure and con- 
centrated prismatic spectrum, it receives, at dijQTerent rates, impressions 
from ail the visible luminous rays in their respective colors, at the 
same time that very decided colors are produced by the non-luminous 
rays below the red and beyond the violet. By warming the prepared 
plate some curious changes are produced ; and if warmed on a stove 
to about 212^ Fahrenheit, M. Becquerel states that the most perfect 
condition for imprinting the spectral colors is brought about. The 
lime which the plate should be exposed to the solar spectrum varies 
with its intensity ; when very concentrated, in a few minutes a fine* 
ly colored impression is obtained. These photographic images may 
be preserved for a considerable time in the dark ; but ai9 yet no means 
have been discovered by which they can be rendered permanent 
against the continued action of light. 

Admiring the zeal with which M. Becquerel has pursued his re- 
searches on this curious subject, we must not forget that Sir John 
Herschel has also succeeded in obtaining a colored impression of the 
spectrum, on paper prepared with vegetoble juice ; and that Mr. R. 
Hunt gpot a similar result with fluoride of silver. We may, therefore, 
reasonably hope that eventually the pencil of the sunbeam will add 
the charm of color to the chemical pictures it produces. — AtheruBum, 


The existence oi ^actinism, or the chemical principle of light, in the 
rays reflected from the moon's surface, has heretofore been a question 
of considerable doubt and uncertainty. At a meeting of the British 
Association, at Cork, some years since, Dr. Robinston stated, **that 
he had been led by the success of Professor Rondoni, of Rome, in 
procuring Daguerreotype images of various fixed stars and nebula by 
means of light transmitted from these objects, to endeavour to procure 
a Dagerreotype impression of the moon's surface. A portion of the 
disk of the moon was brought within the range of a powerful reflect- 
ing telescope, and the brilliant image formed thrown upon a Daguerre- 
otype plate placed in the focus of the reflector. The plate was left 
exposed, in this situation, for twenty minutes. Although a good im- 
pression of a building could be procured upon plates similarly pre- 
pared, in a minute, yet this prolonged exposure to the light of the 
moon produced no impression." Dr. Robinson considered the ex- 
periment as conclusive in establishing the fact, that the chemically 
active principle known as actinism did not exist in lunar light. Re- 
sults, similar to those of Dr. Robinson, have been also arrived at by 
various experimenters in Europe and America. Dr. Draper, of New 
York, however, has stated that he has been able to detect the ac- 
tinic element both in moonlight and artificial light. 

At a meeting of the Cambridge Scientific Association, December, 
1849, ^Ye Daguerreotype pictures of the moon's surface were exhibited 
to the Society by Mr. Wells. These pictures were taken by Mr. 


S. D. Humphrey, of Canandawia, N. Y., with a hal^ize American 
camera, on a medium plate. The first picture was obtained by' an ex- 
posure of two minutes, the camera remaining permanent. During this 
short interval, the earth had moved forward so rapidly, that the figure 
of the satellite was elongated to form an oval, or egg-shape picture. 
The same peculiarity was also noticed in the pictures obtained by an 
exposure for one minute, and also for thirty seconds, though in a 
less degree. In these pictures, the configurations upon the moon's 
surface were not delineated, but in the fourth picture, obtained by an 
exposure of three seconds, the representation was strikingly clear and 
distinct. The figure was round, and the representation of the surface 
80 perfect, that its appearance, when examined under the microscope, 
somewhat resembled the full moon seen through a telescope. The 
fifth picture was obtained by an exposure of only half a second, and 
was little more than a shadow. The powerful agency and presence 
of the chemical principle was sufliciently indicated by it These sev- 
eral pictures were all taken upon one occasion, on the night of the 1st 
of September, a few hours before full moon. They conclusively show 
that lunar light possesses the chemical principle, or force, in a high 
degree, and it is to this source that we may reasonably attribute its 
supposed action in producing phosphorescence and other changes in 
animal or vegetable substances. — Editors, 


At a late meeting of the French Academy M. Evrard communi- 
cated the details of a process he has discovered, by which pictures 
can be taken upon glass. The principle of the discovery is a matrix 
of albumen, rendered sensitive to the action of light by aceto-nitrate 
of silver, and spread in a thin layer upon a plate of glass. The pro- 
cess is to take a certain number of the whites of eggs, and remove all' 
the non-transparent part, and then add a few drops of a saturated so- 
lution of iodate of potassium^ then beat the eggs into a froth, and allow 
the whole to settle. The plate of glass must be well cleaned with 
alcohol, and the albumen is then spread over it, in a thin layer, with 
another piece of glass. It is important that the glass should have a 

Eerfect, thin coat adhering to it, and to obtain this it must next be 
ung up by one of the corners, so that the excess may drain off, after 
which it should be placed to dry upon a level board, and screened 
from the dust. Then the glass is dipped into a solution of aceto- 
nitrate of silver, face downwards, after which it is stirred about in a 
basin of clean water for a few seconds, and is then completely sensi- 
tive to receive photographic impressions, either when it is moist or 
dry. It is then placed in the camera-obscura, after which it is dipped 
for a short time into a bath of gallic acid, in which there is a little of 
the nitrate of silver. Finally, it is washed in water, and having been 
immersed in a solution of bromide of potassium, it is again washed, and 
left to dry in a horizontal position in a dark room. 



At a late meeting of the Paris Academy of Sciences, M. C]audet 
communicated a description of his newly invented instrument for in- 
dicating to the photographer the intensity of the chemical rays, and at 
the same time the sensitiveness of his preparation. ^ The apparatus is 
very simple, and serves equally for processes on paper and on metallic 
plates. It indicates the intensity of the chemical rays at all times of 
the day during atmospheric variations, and at the instant we may wish 
to operate. It serves also to compare the degree of sensitiveness of 
the different photographix; preparations. It is necessary that an in- 
strument of this kind should have a uniform motion without intricate 
machinery, and this is obtained by a means founded upon the princi- 
ple of bodies sliding down an inclined plane. The sensitive surface is 
exposed to the light by the rapid and uniform passage of a metal 
plate, having openings of different lengths which follow a geometric 
progression. It is evident that the exposure to the light will be the 
same for each experiment, because the plate falls afways with the 
same rapidity, the height of the fall being constant, and the angle of 
the plane always the same. The photogenic surface, whether it be 
the Daguerreotype plate, the Talbotype paper, or any other |iensi- 
tive preparation, is placed near the bottom of the inclined plane, 
and is covered with a thin plate of metal pierced with circular holes, 
which correspond to the openings of the movable plate. By placing 
beneath each series of holes a different sensitive surface, each of these 
will receive the same proportion of the same light, and thus the dif- 
ferent degrees of sensitiveness may be compared. It is indispensable, 
in making an exact comparison, to operate with the same light and 
during the same space of time, as it is known that the light varies 
firom one minute to another; this is accomplished by the photograph- 
ometer. M. Claudet announces that this apparatus has furnished him 
with a very extraordinary fact, which, however, he does not give as 
precisely correct; but he thinks that he cannot be far from the truth in 
stating, that the pure light of the sun modifies the bromo-iodized sil- 
ver plate, communicating to it an affinity for mercurial vapor, which 
produces the white image in the Daguerreotype, in about the thou- 
sandth part of a second. He made the experiment by admitting the 
light of the sun through an opening of a French millimetre in size, 
and this opening passed over a space of 350 millimetres in a quarter 
of a second, so that the light could not have acted on the plate more 
than the thousandth part of a second. It is suggested that this in- 
strument may be used to ascertain the effect of the compound light, 
and that of the different separated rays of the solar spectrum ; how 
much photogenic light is lost by reflection from parallel mirrors, prisms, 
and other substances, and by refraction through lenses ; the propor- 
tion of photogenic rays in the light obtained from various sources, in- 
cluding that produced by electricity ; if the photogenic light varies 
with Jhe height of the atmosphere and with the changes of temperar 
ture, and if it is affected by the electrical state of the atmosphere ; 
and, lastly, what is the proportion of the photogenic rays at each hoar 
of the day, and at different points in space at a given moment. 



The following is an abstract of a paper recently presented to the 
Royal Society by Robert Hunt, Esq. The chemical change pro- 
duced in chloride of silver when exposed to the action of the sun's 
rays, by which powerful chemical affinity is broken up, chlorine lib- 
erated, and silver in a state of fine division left, was selected as an ex- 
emplification of the actinic force, which was the subject of considera- 
tion. This chemical change takes place in white light, and hence all 
those photographic phenomena which have created so much interest 
have been referred to luminous power. If, however, we examine the 
conditions of light as analyzed by the prism, — presenting, not sevea 
colored bands, as stated by Sir Isaac Newton, but nine, as proved by 
recent experiments, — it is found that these colored bands possess op- 
posite properties. For instance, the chloride of silver will not darken 
in the mean luminous ray of the spectrum, nor will it darken either 
at the end which gives the greatest calorific effect, or at the end which 
is embraced by the lavender ray, usually regarded as representing the 
most chemically active part ; consequently, we find three points in the 
spectrum which will not produce any change in chloride of silver. 
Where we have the most light, and at two extremities where the 
light ceases to affect the human eye, and also laterally, bands are ex- 
hibited which show the same physical conditions, and thus it would 
appear that the circle of light is not the agent producing this peculiar 
alteration. Regarding, as appears natural, the ordinary prismatic 
spectrum as the representation actually of two spectra consisting of 
but three colors, — red, blue, and yellow, which is shown by the re- 
appearance of red light in the blue and of yellow light in the lavender 
ray, which blue light appears again at the least re^ngible end in the 
extreme red or crimson ray, — we have an explanation of the result 
above mentioned, and the want of chemical action is shown to arise 
from the operation, indeed, of the most luminous bands. By absorbent 
media, as colored glasses and fluids, these results were more fully ex- 
plained. The most remarkable results have, however, been lately ob- 
tained by the use of colored media ; and it has been shown that every 
luminous ray, independent of color, may be made to protect chloride 
of silver from that chemical change which is induced by the direct ac- 
tion of difilised daylight, — the portion upon which those rays fall be- 
ing actually preserved as a white space, every other part being black- 
ened. It was contended that no hypothesis of interference would 
explain this result, which more decidedly proved than had hitherto 
been done the wide difiference between the phenomena of light and 
actinism. The fact that luminous effect — phosphorescence — was 
produced by the blue rays of the spectrum appears to oppose this 
Tiew ; but when we find that, in like manner, electricity was interrupt- 
ed, it appears more rational to refer phosphorescent phenomena to 
some peculiar electric excitation. The action of the solar rays on the 
development of vegetable life was then explained, and the following 
conclusions suggested as the explanation of experimental results fre- 
qaently repeal : — 1. Germination , which will take place in the 


dark, is quickened by the actinic force, and retarded and often stopped 
by the luminous power. 2. Lignification, The decomposition of 
carbonic acid by the plant is due to some excitement of luminous 
power, and is stopped by the actinic force. 3. Formation of Chloro- 
phyll, Due entirely to the luminous rays. 4. Floivering and Fruit- 
ing, Dependent upon the action of the thermic or parathermic rays 
of the spectrum, as distinguished from both the luminous and actinic 
forces. 6. Motion of Plants, Bending to the blue light, and reced- 
ing from the red, proving the excitement of actinic force. — London 
AthentBum, April. 


It is well known that the proof of the enormous velocity of light, 
amounting to 192,000 miles per second, has hitherto been derired only 
from the observations and calculations of astronomers and geometri- 
cians, and that this velocity has never been demonstrated by any ex- 
periment. In 1675 Roemer first announced the extraordinary velocity 
of light, which he had derived from observations on the satellites of 
Jnpiter, and in 1728 Bradley was led to the same result by studying 
the phenomena known as '* the aberration of light.*' Since the same 
result was thus arrived at in two totally different ways, there could be 
no doubt of the fact ; but still scientific men have long desired to ren- 
der it more evident by actual experiment. This has at last been ac- 
complished by a French savan, M. Hippolyte Fizeau, from whose 
communication to the French Academy, on July 23d, we make the fol- 
lowing extracts. '* I have succeeded in demonstrating the velocity of 
light by a method which seems to me to furnish a new means of study- 
ing with precision this important phenomena ; this method is founded 
on these principles. When a disk turns in its plane with great rapidity 
around its centre of figure, it is possible to estimate the time occupied 
by a point in the circumference in describing a very small angu- 
lar space, a thousandth of the circumference for example. If the 
rapidity of rotation is great enough, this time is very short, being for 
ten or a hundred revolutions per second only, one ten-thousandth 
or one hundred-thousandth of a second. If the circumference of 
the disk is divided, like a toothed wheel, into equal intervals, alter- 
nately open and closed, the time occupied by the passage of each of 
these intervals through «the same point of space will be the same small 
fractions. During so short periods the light passes over quite limited 
spaces, being 31 kilometres (19.5 miles) for the first fraction, and 3 
kilometres (^ miles) for the second. If a ray of light which has 
passed through one of the divisions of the wheel is reflected from a 
mirror placed at a certain distance, and returns to the same point, the 
time occupied in the propagation of this ray must necessarily inter- 
vene, and the ray at its return will pass through an open space in the 
wheel, or will be stopped by a closed one, according to the rapidity of 
the motion of the wheel and the distance from which the light is re- 

*^ A system of two telescopes directed towards each other, so that the 



image of the object-glass of each is formed in the focus of the other, 
furnishes us, in a very simple manner, with the essential condition of a 
ray of light, which, starting from a point, is reflected at a certain dis- 
tance so as to return to its starting-point. For this all that is necessary 
is to place in the first telescope, l^tween the focus and the eye-glass, a 
transparent glass at an angle of 45 degrees, which sends towards the 
object-glass the light received obliquely from a lamp or from the sun ; 
and b\bo to place a mirror in the focus of the object-glass of the seo- 
ond telescope. This arrangement answers perfectly, even when the 
telescopes are separated to a considerable distance. With telescopes 
of an aperture of 6 centimetres (2.5 inches) the distance may be 8 
kilometres (5 miles) without weakening the light too much. We 
then see a luminous point like a star, formed by the ray of light, 
which, starting from the focus of the first telescope, and being reflect- 
ed by the inclined glass through a space of 16 kilometres (10 miles), 
returns exactly to the same point of departure, trayeraes the same 
plate of glass, and finally enters the eye. 

'^ It is through the point of departure that the teeth of the revolving 
disk must be passed to produce the effects indicated. The experi- 
ment is made without any trouble, and the least practised eye per- 
ceives immediately that, according to the greater or less rapidity of 
the motion, the point of light shines brightly or is wholly eclipsed, as 
it meets an open or closed space. Under the circumstances in which 
I made the experiment, the first eclipse took place when the disk was 
revolving at the rate of about twelve revolutions and six tenths per 
second. With a double rapidity the point again shone out, was 
eclipsed with a triple rapidity, reappeared with a quadruple one, and 
BO on. The first telescope was plaQpd in the cupola of a house sit- 
uated at Suresnes, and the second one upon the heights of Montmar^ 
tre, at the approximate distance of 8,633 metres. The disk, having 
on it 720 teeth, was mounted on wheel-work moved by weights ; a 
scale furnished the means of measuring the rapidity of the rotation. 
The light came from a lamp so arranged as to furnish a very brilliant 

If we understand correctly the meaning of M . Fizeau, it is evident, 
in the first place, that the distance of the telescopes, the rapidity of 
the rotation, and the interval of time which separates the passage of 
an open from that of a closed space, are known ; secondly, that the 
meeting of a ray of light with an open or closed space, and conse* 
quently its reappearance or its eclipse when it has been reflected 
back after having passed over the double space of 8,633 metres, de- 
pends solely upon this distance and upon the velocity with which it 
has been transmitted, and upon the rapidity with which the disk re- 
volves. Finally, it follows that the only unknown quantity in the 
problem, the velocity of the ray of light, is deduced at once from the 
two other quantities previously known, namely, the distance passed 
over and the rapidity of the motion of the disk, joined to the easy ob- 
servation of the reappearance or the eclipse. 

The repeated experiments made in this manner by M. Fizeau give 
him for the velocity of light a value diflfering very little from that as- 


signed by astronomers. The extraoTdinary agreement of the resnits 
obtained in the three ways, from obserration on the eclipses of the 
satellites of Jupiter, from the phenomena of aberration, and from ac- 
tual experiment, leaves no doubt that light does really travel with the 
enormous velocity of about 192,000 miles per second. 

Soon after the above announcement was made by M. Fizeau, he 
received the cross of the Legion of Honor, as a reward for his inge- 


Professor John Locke has invented a curious instrument, named 
by him Phantascope, which will illustrate, in a manner never before 
aociHnplished, *' single vision by each eye." It is very simple, and 
has neither lenses, prisms, nor reflectors. It consists of a flat board 
base, about nine by eleven inches, with two upright rods, one at each 
end, a horizontal strip connecting the upper ends of the uprights, and a 
screen or diaphragm, nearly as large as the base, interposed between 
the top strip and the tabular base, this screen being adjustable to any 
intermediate height. The top strip has a slit one fourth of an inch 
wide, and about three inches long from left to right. The observer 
places his eyes over this slit, looking downward. The movable 
screen has also a slit of the same length, but about an inch wide. 
There are two identical pictures of a flower, about one inch in diam- 
eter, placed the one to the left and the other to the right of the centre 
of the tabular base, or board forming the support, and about two and 
a half or three inches apart from centre to centre. A flower-pot or 
vase is painted on the upper screen, at the centre of it as regards 
right and left, and with its top even with the lower edge of the open 
sliL By looking downward through the upper slit, and directing both 
eyes steadily to a mark, — a quasi stem, in the flower-pot or vase, — in- 
stantly a flower similar to one of those on the lower screen, but of half 
the size, will appear growing out of the vase, and in the open slit of 
the movable screen. On directing the attention through the upper 
screen to the base, this phantom flower disappears, and onW the two 
pictures on each side of tbe place of the phantom remain. The phan- 
tom itself consists of the two images painted on the base, optically 
superimposed on each other. If one of these images be red and the 
other blue, the phantom will be purple. If two identical figures of 
persons be placed at the proper positions on the lower screen, and the 
upper screen be gradually slid up from its lowest point, the eye being 
directed to the index, each image will at first be doubled, and wiU 
gradually recede, there being of course four in view until the two con- 
tiguous coincide, when three only are seen. This is the proper point 
where the middle or double image is the phantom seen in the air. If 
the screen be raised higher, then the middle images pass by each oth- 
er, and again four are seen, receding more and more as the screen is 
raised. As all this is the eflfect of crossing the axes of the eyes, it 
follows that a person with only one perfect eye cannot make the ex- 
periments. They depend on binocukar vision. 


All these eflfects depend on the principle, that one of the two prim- 
itive pictures is seen by one eye, and the other by the other eye, and 
that the axes are so converged by looking at the index or mark on 
th^ upper screen, that th6se separate images fall on the points in the 
eye which produce single vision. To a person who has perfect volun- 
tary control over the axes of his eyes, the upper screen and index are 
unnecessary. Such an observer can at any time look two contiguous 
persons into one, or superimpose the image of one upon the image of 
the other. 

We find in a letter from Professor Locke one or two additional ex- 
periments described. He says : — "I took the .figure or picture of a 
person about two inches in height, and, having cut its outline from 
the paper, and cut off the head, I placed the Irady to the left on the 
lower screen, and the head to the right on a level with its proper po- 
sition, and directed my eyes to the index of the movable screen, 
when the body appeared to move in from the left and the head from 
the riffht till they were apparently reunited, and an entire figure pre* 
sented itself to view. But, from a little unsteadiness of the eye in a 
forced position, the head had a small motion, sometimes reaching for- 
ward in the attitude of earnestness, then drawing back with an expres* 
sion of dignity. I found, too, that my eyes were not always mates. At 
one time the body, which was seen by the ri^ht eye, appeared bright, 
while the head, seen by the other eye, was dmi and confused. After 
a little these conditions were reversed, and the left eye gave the 
brighter image. When the images of two colored objects are opti- 
cally superimposed by the phantascope, say a blue and red wafer, the 
phantom will sometimes be purple, again it will be red, when, on re- 
versing it, the blue will predominate ; showing that one eye is more 
sensitive to colors than the other, and that the double-imaged phantom 
will appear of that color which falls on the stronger eye. Throwing 
aside the machinery of the phantascope, I crossed the axes of my eyes, 
and looked at the window of my room, increasing the convergence un- 
til the two images of the window laid side by side, the nght-hand 
side of one image lying along the left-hand side of the other. These 
edges did not appear to be parallel, the lower ends being apart while 
the upper ends were in apparent contact. From this it appears that 
the eyes did not rotate in the same horizontal plane. On throwing 
the head back as far as possible, and making the same convergence of 
the axes, the perpendicular objects preserved their paraJlelism, and the 
two sides of the two images of the window coincided throughout. 
Whether this is true of the eyes of all persons is doubtful. These 
experiments on binocular vision are not so amusing as several others 
in optics, and to some persons the efiR)rt to distort the optical axes is 
painful, like looking at a doubled impression in printing. The strug- 
gle between the knowledge of where the primitive picture really is, 
and the optical impression of the phantom', is sometimes quite painful ; 
but, so soon as the imagination realizes the place of the phantom, it is 
contemplated with as much ease as a real object. There is a math- 
ematical ratio in the several quantities concerned. For example, 
the distance ftom the eye to the phantom is to the distance £rom the 



phantom to the object, as the distance between the eyes is to the dis- 
tance between the identical pictures converged together. It follows, 
that, any three of the quantities being given, the fourth can be calculat- 
ed either by proportion or by equation, l^y this means I calculated 
the diameter of the floor-cloth panels, the result being within one 
fourth of an inch of the actual measurement. 'I mention this merely 
as an illustration of the subject for the base line ; the distance between 
the eyes is too short for practical use." 

This instrument shows that we do not see an object in itself, but the 
mind contemplates an image on the retina, and always associates an 
object of such a figure, attitude, distance, and color, as will produce 
that image by rectilinear pencils of light. If this image on the ret- 
ina can be produced without the object, as in the phantascope, then 
there is a perfect optical illusion, and an object is seen where it is not. 
Nay, more, the mind does not contemplate a mere luminous image, 
but that image produces an unknown physiological impression on 
the brain. It follows, that if the nerves can, by disease or by the 
force of imagination, take on this action, a palpable impression is 
made without either object or picture. As this would be most likely 
to occur when actual objects are excluded, as in the night, we have 
an explanation of the scenery of dreams, and the occasional <* appari- 
tions'* to waking persons. 


M. LuviNi, of Turin, in a letter to the editor of V Institute at 
Paris, makes the following curious observation, which, if confirmed, 
may prove to be of great importance : — ** When there is a fog be- 
tween two corresponding stations, so that the one station can with 
difficulty be seen from the other, if the observer passes a colored glass 
between his eye and the eye-piece of his telescope, the effect of the 
fog is very sensibly diminished, so that frequently the signals from 
the other station can be very plainly perceived, when, without the 
colored glass, even the station itself is invisible. The different colors 
do not all produce this effect in the same degree, the red seeming to 
be the best. Those who have good sight prefer the dark red, while 
those who are short-sighted like the light red better. The explana- 
tion of this effect seems to depend upon the fact, that the white color 
of the fog strikes too powerfully upon the organ of sight, especially 
if the glass have a somewhat large field. But by the insertion of the 
colored glass, the intensity of the light is much diminished by the 
interception of a part of the rays, and the observer's eye is less wea- 
ried, and consequently distinguishes better the outlines of the object 


Professor C. Dewey communicates to SillimarCs Journal, fox 
November, the following notice of a new kind of abnormal vision. 
There are two well-known kinds of abnormal vision in eyes not dia- 


eased, tbe far-sighted and the neoT'gighUd. The foniier oooqts hi 
good eyes, as persons adrance in life, beginning about the age of 
forty, and is remedied by plane, or, better, by convex spectacles. The 
latter is found in youth, or young persons, and finds its remedy in con' 
cave glasses. The far-sighted are unable to see near and small ob> 
jects, and remoTe them to an inconvenient distance, while they see 
remoter objects perfectly well without glasses. The near-sighted are 
unable to see small objects unless they are brought inconveniently 
near, and they hare no distinct vision of remote objects. There is a 
kind of abnormal vision, different from either of these, which is not 
far-sighted nor near-sighted, but in which near small objects, or larger 
distant objects, are not seen with distinctness. This imperfection oc- 
curs in children and young persons, and is remedied by convex spec- 
tacles which are suited to the eyes of persons from sixty-five to sev- 
enty years of age. The younger eyes require the older glasses, and 
with advanced years less convex glasses are inquired. At the age of 
forty-five or more, this kind of abnormal vision becomes much dimin- 
ished. As the young use the glasses of the far-sighted, this kind 
may be called neo^macropia. It is evident that convex glasses produce 
that chanee in the rays of light which Jits such eyes to see distinctly 
small andlarse objects at varying distances. This fact proves that 
there is no defect in the adjusting power of the eyes. The cause, then, 
is to be sought in the structure of the eye. As this kind of eyes does 
not appear to be too much or too little convex, and as the image is not 
formed soon enough in the eye, or is too far back, either or all of the 
three following may be the cause : — 1st, too little convexity of the 
crystalline lens ; or, 2d, its position too near the retina ; or, 3d, its too 
little density. The second is the probable cause. Spectacles suf- 
ficiently convex would bring the rays to a focus, let either or all of 
the three causes operate, and with the usual adjusting power of the 
eye give distinct vision for near or remoter objects. Though this 
kind of abnormal vision seems not to have attracted attention, for I 
have found but one allusion to it in consulting authors on optics, it is 
relatively common. In New England and New York, more than 
fifty instances of it have come to my knowledge in the five or six 
years past. A child of fifteen was able to see distinctly, for the first 
time, by the use of his grandfather's spectacles. A young man of 
eighteen required convex glasses of ten-inch focus, while persons of 
seventy years use those of fourteen to eighteen inch focus. Children 
oflen make little progress in study, because they do not see objects 
distinctly, though the defect is not suspected by them, and is utterly 
unknown to parents and teachers. The knowledge of this subject 
will make spectacles a still greater benefit to our race. 


In order to ascertain the causes of the same body communicating to 
our ear different tones at the same time, M. Duhamel has made the 
following experiment. A caoutchouc thread connected consecutively 
with di&rent points of an oscillating plate, producing simultaneously 


two or three notes, was conveyed to one ear, while the other was 
stopped. He convinced himself that an impression of sound could 
arrive at the ear in this manner only, and yet all the notes were audi- 
ble at the same time at all the diflferent points. Hence Duhamel con- 
cludes, that if the oscillatory motion of one point be decomposed into 
several others, the ear is affected in the same manner, whether the 
component movements emanate simultaneously from several neigh« 
bouring points, or from one point only. 


Dr. Charles T. Jackson communicated to the American Scien- 
tific Association, during its session at Cambridge, an interesting paper 
entitled *' Observations on the Mirage seen on Lake Superior in July 
and August, 1847." 

*' The phenomena of mirage have at all times excited the wonder 
and admiration of mankind, and have been fruitful in strange super- 
stitious legends. Even those most versed in the causes of natural 
phenomena cannot fail to be strongly impressed with the magnificent 
phenomena of mirage on the north shore of Lake Superior, and the 
philosophical mind delights in being able there to observe the causes 
which produce this marvellous effect. I know not whether the sea- 
son when I had the opportunity for making my observations was one 
remarkable for the frequency of mirage, but it is certain that, for many 
successive days, the phenomena were presenting themselves in rapid 
succession along the northern coast of Lake Superior, opposite to Isle 
Royale, and on the coast of the island itself, in the bays which so 
deeply indent its shores. At Rock Harbour, on several occasions, I 
observed the little islands and points on its outskirts most perfectly 
represented, with inverted pictures of their entire forms hanging over 
their summits, the images of the spruce and other trees which crown 
them being seen with beautiful distinctness directly over their terres- 
trial originals, while the picture of a little skiff was one day seen 
represented beside the phantom island, the boatman in the sky appear- 
ing to row his bateau as unconcernedly as his original on the bosom 
of the lake. 

"On the 27th of July we saw Keeweenaw Point in mirage. It is 40 
miles distant from this place, and bears £. N. E. from ScoviPs Point 
on Isle Royale. The most wonderful mirage was observed from the 
north coast of Isle Royale, while we were coasting along from the 
eastern to the western end of the island. For several days in succes- 
sion, we had almost hourly magnificent repetitions of these curious 
phenomena. Thunder Cape, 15 miles distant to the north, a lofty 
mural precipice, said to be 1,300 feet high, and rising directly from 
the lake, presents the form of an irregular truncated pyramid. By 
the phenomena of mirage it suddenly changes its form into a huge 
anvil, sending out a long horn to the right, while a dark black mass 
rises behind it which might be represented as old Vulcan himself. 
This singular phenomenon attracted much attention, and on observing 
with care, I found thai the horn of the anvil was the image of the 


talus of the cUfTon the shore, represented in inverted picture. The im- 
a^e seen at the summit was probably that of a conical peak in the rear 
of the cliff, represented inverted over the Cape. Turning away from 
this phantom for a while, when we looked again the anvil-horn had 
been removed, and the figure over it was gone ; but it soon reappear- 
ed as before, and for several days we were gratified with a view of 
these singular and interesting appearances, which seemed like the 
changes of the magic-lantern. Occasional rumblings of distant thun- 
der came to us from afar, though no storm visited us. 

*' Not among the least curious and important refractions are those 
produced on the rays from the celestial bodies. At times the sun 
yields to the strange refractions produced by the atmosphere over this 
great lake, and as he draws near to the horizon expands his broad 
cheeks most good-naturedly, or sends out a long pear-shaped neck to- 
wards the horizon. Dr. John Locke took many sketches of the re- 
markable forms assumed by the sun, and will probably give some ac- 
count of his observations. The afternoon observations for a time 
were found to be much affected by the unusual refractions of the at- 
mosphere of the lake, and evening observations of the stars were 
found to be utterly useless. Only stars of very high altitude, such as 
could not be reacheJd by the sextant with an artificial horizon, can be 
employed for determination of latitude and longitude. This was 
proved by numerous trials. The morning observations were found to 
be more reliable, and were exclusively used in our determinations of 
longitude. It is probable that this extraordinary refraction is limited 
to the vicinity of the lake. It may be worth while to endeavour to ex- 
plain the curious phenomena which I have described, and to account 
for the strange antics performed by the woodland scenery of the lake 
coast, and of the inverted image of the fisherman's boat as observed. 

*' Lake Superior, being an inland ocean of fresh water in a high 
northern latitude, (between 46<^ and 49^ north,) has a nearly uni- 
form and constant temperature, probably not far from the mean tem- 
perature of the climate. It ranges from 37^ to 42° Fahrenheit, never 
rising above the latter temperature excepting in shallow places near 
shore. The average depth of the lake is estimated by Bayfield at 
900 feet. Its height above the sea is 600 feet ; hence its bottom is 
300 feet below sea level .^ The shores of this lake are much more 
elevated than those of the other great lakes, and high table-lands ex- 
tend far back into the interior, and are thickly wooded. The coast, 
especially on the north side of the lake, is abruptly precipitous di- 
rectly to the water's edge ; and the air on the surface of the lake 
rarely is of a higher temperature than 50^, while that in the forest 
at noon is frequently as high as 90^, or even 94^. It is obvious, 
then, that during a summer's day the air in the forests becomes high- 
ly rarefied by heat, and takes up a proportional quantity of water in 
the state of invisible moisture. When this current of warm air 
slides from the precipices, over the surface of the lake, the warm air 
by'its specific levity from rarefaction floats upon the cooler air of the 
lake, and does not directly mingle with it. The consequence neces- 
sarily is, that 2k film ofmotsture is condensed at the surfaces of contact 



of the warm and cold air, and thus a screen is produced on which the 
objects reflected from below are seen as in a mirror. Meanwhile, by 
refraction, this image is seen higher up than it is really painted on 
the mist. This was obviously the cause of the strange phantoms 
which we have witnessed on Lake Superior. It is no uncommon 
thing on other parts of the lake to see vessels inverted in the air be- 
fore their hulls become visible above the horizon ; and it is well known 
that similar appearances very rarely occur on our sea*coast, and have 
given rise, in former times, to strange and superstitious tales." 

Prof. Agassiz mentioned an additional phenomenon, which has been 
frequently witnessed by himself and his party upon Lake Superior. 
Not only did the shores and islands, with all their vegetation, appear 
repeated, higher up and in an inverted position, but above this invert- 
ed landscape there was sometimes still another, in which every thing 
was upright, so that the picture was twice repeated above the surface 
of real nature, — once inverted, and above that, the same erect. This 
fact must be explained, by any theory which professes to account for 
similar phenomena ; but it may be simply the image of the landscape, 
inverted upon the surface of the lake, reproduced with the inverted 
image of the landscape itself. 


At a recent meeting of the Geographical Society of Bombay, Mr. 
G. Buist made an interesting communication on a method adopted by 
him for ascertaining the heat of, and evaporation from, the soil. The 
objects and details of the experiment are stated to be as follows : — 
'* As the evaporation from a shallow dish of water exposed to the sun, 
and liable to be raised to a temperature of 100°, or 120O, gives no 
idea of the amount of evaporation from the surface of the sea, large 
pools, or lakes, which vary very little in temperature, he was anxious 
to determine the amount of evaporation u:om the surface of wet 
earth, compared with that from the surface of a considerable mass of 
water. With this view, two zinc cylinders were prepared, three feet 
long and four inches in diameter, and secured by a strong brass ring, 
at the top and bottom, carefully turned. These contained fifteen 
pounds, or a gallon and a half of water, each, temperature 82<=>, or 
nineteen pounds of the loose red earth to be found associated with 
trap-rock. When filled with earth well shaken down, they were able 
to take in six and a half pounds of water to overflowing. Each was 
provided with a glass tube, [of a quarter of an inch bore, connected 
with the bottom of the cylinder, and running parallel with it, to the 
top ; this was intended to show how high the water stood inside. On 
filling one of them with earth, and then adding water till it flowed 
over, that in the tube decreased of course rapidly by evaporation, — 
but, strange to tell, after continuing to descend from noon till day- 
break, it commenced immediately to rise again till 11 A. M., remain- 
ed motionless till 1 P. M., when it began to sink, and so continued 
descending, till about an hour after sunrise, when it commenced im- 
mediately to rise, and so continued till the same hour as during the 


precedinjff day. This had gone on regularly for four days ; each day 
It sank nom two to three inches, and only rose half as much ; the 
-fluctuation was in all respects most perfectly regular and symmetri* 
cal." — London Athenaum^ September, 


M. VoLGBR has recently subjected the flame of the candle to a 
new analysis. He finds that the so-called flame-bud, a globular blue 
flammule, is first produced at the summit of the wick ; this is the re* 
suit of the combustion of carbonic oxide, hydrogen, and carbon, and 
is surrounded by a reddish violet halo, the veil. The increased heat 
now gives rise to the actual flame, which shoots forth from the ex* 
panding bud, and is then surrounded at its inferior portion only by 
the latter. The interior consists of a daik gaseous cone, containing 
the immediate products of the decomposition of the fatty acids, and 
surrounded by another dark hollow cone, the inner cap. Here we al- 
ready meet with carbon and hydrogen, which have resulted from the 
process of decomposition, and we distinguish this cone from the inner 
one by its yielding soot. The external cap constitutes the most lu- 
minous portion of the flame, in which the hydrogen is consumed, and 
the carbon rendered incandescent. The surrounding portion is but 
slightly luminous, deposits no soot, and in it the carbon and hydrogen 
are consumed. — Annual Report of the Progress of Chemistry and the 
Allied Sciences. 


On the library-table were several curious and beautiful specimens of 
De la Rue's application of Sir Isaac Newton's thin plates, — carved 
wood, embossed card, plaster of Paris, paper, &c., — presenting a me- 
tallic appearance, but likewise splendid iridal colors, the green pre- 
dominant. The paper was cut into the form of birds, beetles, &c.; 
the varying green shield of the beetle was most natural, and evinced 
the power of producing any tint or effect required. The material 
employed for coating the above substances is a colorless varnish, ap- 
plied by being dropped on water, the specimen to be coated, previous- 
ly placed in the water, being lifted up against the thin film into which 
the drop had spread. The colors are due, of course, to the interfer- 
ence of the luminous rays, — the light reflected from the upper in- 
terfering with that reflected from the under surface ; and upon the ex- 
tent of the retardation of the luminous waves by such interference, 
the varieties of colors depend. Mother-of-pearl affects light similarly, 
and thence, its lovely hues. White paper, with Mr. De la Rue's 
coating of varnish, is artificial mother-of-pearl, and a most beautiful 
representation of it. — Royal InstittUion Proceedings, 


Mr. R. Rawson has communicated to the British Association at 
Birmingham, a paper upon the friction of water, containing the result 


of experiments made by him, their object being to ascertain the fric- 
tion of the water on a vessel, or other floating body, rolling in the 
water. In making his experiments, he used a cylindrical model, thir- 
ty inches long, and twenty-six inches in diameter, whose weight was 
two hundred and fifty-five pounds, avoirdupois. The cylinder was in 
the first place put into a cistern without water, and made to vibrate on 
knife edges passing through its axis. A pencil, projecting from the 
model, in the direction of the axis of the cylinder, on the surface of 
another movable cylinder, marked out, upon paper placed on this last 
cylinder, the amplitude, or extent, of each oscillation. The cylinder 
was deflected over to various angles, by means of a weight, attached 
by a string to the arm of a lever fixed to the cylindrical model. The 
table given by Mr. R. shows that in these cases the model vibrated 
to an angle, in general, 6' less than the angle to which it was deflect* 
ed. When the cylinder oscillated in exacdy the same circumstances, 
except that it was surrounded by salt water, it appears that the angle 
of vibration was about SO' less than that of deflection. This shows 
clearly, that when vibrating in water there is a falling oflf in the an- 
gle of about 24' from the vibration out of water. This decrease 
must be attributed to the friction of the water on the surface of the 
cylinder. The author thinks, from calculations, that the amount of 
force acting on the sur^eice of the cylinder necessary to cause this de- 
crease is not equally distributed over it, but that the amount on any 
particular part varies as the depth, and some experiments confirm this 
view. These, with other experiments, made under the direction of 
the Admiralty, go to show that when '^ a sudden gust of wind is ap- 
plied to the sails of a vessel, or any cause which acts constantly dur- 
ing one oscillation, the ultimate amplitude of deflection will be double 
the amplitude which the gust of wind will permanently deflect the 
vessel." — London Athenteum^ September. 


LiKVT. Maury is still pursuing his favorite theory of winds and 
currents, which has already been productive of much good to the 
commercial world, although the observations as yet made have been 
very limited compared with those which must be made before a cor- 
rect knowledge can be obtained of the winds and currents of the dif- 
ferent oceans. His ** Wind and Current Charts "are so made, that 
at a single glance the navigator is able to see in what portion of die 
Atlantic Ocean he shall probably find the most favorable winds and 
currents. He has adopted the plan of dividing the ocean into sections 
of five degrees each, and the track of each vessel is laid down across 
it in colors according to the seasons of the year, and in characters ac- 
cording to the month, while the symbols for the winds are so con- 
trived that they show at once both the direction and strength of the 
wind. In this way the charts show at a glance the prevailing winds, 
the temperature of the water, the set and velocity of the currents, the 
variation of the compass, &c. 

The results gained by these charts are numerous ; we give the 


most tmportant of them. It has been discovered that the trade-winds 
in the North Atlantic blow with more regularity on the American 
than on the African side of the Atlantic, owing, probably, to the fact 
that in the latter case the sands and deserts, which heat and rarefy the 
air, are to the windward, while in the former they are to the leeward* 
It is also shown that the so-called northeast trade-winds prevail more 
from, the northward on the American than they do on the African side 
of the ocean, and that calms are much less frequent on this than oa 
that side of the ocean. 

After carefully comparing the log-books of many thousand yessels 
sailing between the United States and Brazil, China, the Indies, the 
Cape of Good Hope, And Cape Horn, the author of these charts has 
been led to the important discovery that the circuitous course usually 
taken to these places may be avoided. It may here be remarked that 
the usual route of vessels bound from our Atlantic coast to the parts 
of the world named is nearly the same until they reach the equator. 
But these charts indicate an entirely new route thither. The usual 
course of our vessels bound to Rio Janeiro, or the Cape of Good 
Hope, is across the Atlantic Ocean to the shores of Africa, thence to 
tiie coast of Brasil, and, if bound to the Cape, a third time across the 
ooean. This zigzag course has been hitherto pursued, in the belief 
that, in following it, better winds have been found than if any other 
had been taken. The facts derived from the log-books and records of 
a thousand ships show this belief to be unfounded. 

It has been made to appear that monsoons, or trade-winds, prevail 
in that part of the Atlantic through which a part of the old route to 
the equator lie», where no such winds have been thought to exist. 
From June to November, inclusive, these winds prevail from the 
southward and westward. And they are exactly in that part of the 
ocean where, strange though it may appear, vessels, ever since the 
days of Cook and Cavendish, have been in the habit of going, with 
the expectation of finding winds favorable for a course to the south- 
ward and westward. 

In consequence of results like these, Lieut. Maury was led to ex- 
amine the materials his own industry had accumulated, in order to 
find a better route. Accordingly, one was discovered and announced, 
which, besides being several hundred miles nearer, lies also through 
a region of more favorable winds ; insomuch that the average passage 
of a number of vessels which have tried this new route during the 
last year is ten days, or about 25 per cent., less than the average by 
the usual course to the equator. 

In consequoice of his investigations, Lieut. Maury was induced to 
recommend a more northerly route than the one usually taken by 
vessels in the European trade. The ship Wisconsin followed this 
recommendation on her voyage from Liverpool to New York, with 
great success. She arrived at her port of destination twelve days 
before two other ships which sailed in company, but which went far- 
ther to the south. It is not claimed that such a difference will invari- 
ably occur in the length of passage by the two routes, but the result 
is pevertheless full of signifioance, and indicates the great importance 


and yalne to be attached to the subject. If the voyage across the At- 
lantic can be shortened but a day or two, commerce will still reap im- 
portant benefits. 

A still further examination of the materials at his command has 
led Lieut. Maury to other promising results. By projecting the cours- 
es of large numbers of vessels engaged in the trade of the Gulf of 
Mexico, and noting the currents they have met with, it has been 
made to appear more than probable that a current has been discover* 
ed, which (if found to exist) will shorten the usual sailing distance 
from Havana to New Orleans, and to other ports in the States border- 
ing on the Gulf, nearly one third. By the route usually pursued, 
vessels have to encounter an opposing current running at the rate of 
nearly sixty miles per day. It is believed that, by following along the 
Cuba shore, vessels bound to New Orleans will find a current in their 
favor of equal velocity. 

In a letter to some citizens of New Bedford, Lieut. Maury enumer- 
ates some of his other results. He says, that he has ascertained that 
'* the northeast trade-winds form an atmospherical band in the North 
Atlantic, with surprising regularity of breadth. Were this band 
opaque, or were it visible to an astronomer in the moon, it would ap- 
pear to him not unlike the belts of Jupiter do to us ; but upon a scale 
greatly enlarged. Could it be seen by an observer in the moon, he 
could mark our seasons by it ; so regularly do the materials already 
furnished show its vibrations up and down in latitude to be according 
to OUT months and seasons. 

*'This band of northeast trades is not, as has been supposed, parallel 
to the equatoz'. It is parallel to the ecliptic. The manner in which 
these conclusions are arrived at admits of no more doubt as to these 
facts, than there is as to the existence of the trade-winds themselves." 

Referring to the merchant-vessels which have been supplied with 
his charts, he adds, *'When these thousand ships return with their 
observations, made simultaneously in all parts of the world, who can 
anticipate the value or the nature of the results to be obtained ? 
When it is blowing a norther in the Gulf, or a tornado in the West 
Indies, for instance, these observations will enable us to see what it 
was doing on the other side, across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. I am 
beginning to receive returns from this fleet. Our system of observa- 
tions requires the water-thermometer to be used ; and in consequence 
it is now beginning, for the first time, to be generally used in the mer- 
chant service. From the returns already received, this instrument, 
indicates a fork in the Gulf Stream, on the banks of Newfoundland. 
It also indicates the existence of a cold current setting westwardly 
between two warm ones running towards the east ; and it indicates, 
further, the probability of the Grand Banks extending nearly to the 
coast of Europe. This is all the thermometer can do in this respect ; 
it can only indicate. Suppose — and the supposition is probably not 
far wrong — that the rate of this cold current and of each of these 
warm ones is one mile the hour ; vessels do not know where the di- 
viding line between them is. They lie in the track to Europe ; and if 
we suppose the average time for which a vessel, on her passage to and 



fro, is exposed to them to be ten days, we shall see that each veesel 
may be swept back or carried forward by the current to which she is 
exposed during that time, 240 miles ; thus making a difference of 480 
miles in her progress during only ten days of her passage, according 
as she may have the luck to strike the adverse or favorable current. 
Would it not be a great advantage to every vessel in the European 
trade, if she knew exactly where to find these currents, and where to 
go to avoid the adverse one, and where to take the favorable one 1 
To ascertain their limits is more than individual enterprise can do, — 
it would require a vessel to be sent there for the purpose, and to em- 
ploy several months in the examination ; therefore this would seem to 
be the business of government. 

'^ As for your favorite subject, the whales, I am happy to inform 
yon that Lieut. Herndon has them already in hand ; and though his 
investigations have not yet gone far enough to authorize conclusions, 
yet there is no doubt in my mind, that, if you will send us well-kept 
journals, and enough of them, we shall be able to construct a chart 
which will show at a glance in what part of the ocean the whales 
have been found in quantity in the different months ; and we shall 
show the piarts that are never frequented by them. Take, as an ex- 
ample : he has examined the logs of vessels which, in the years 1833, 
'34, '35, '39, '40, '44, '45, and '46, cruised 429 days in the square 
from 50 N. to the equator, between the meridians of 80^ and 850 W., 
and whales were found there in quantities, in every month except 
January, February, and March. In the square from 50 N. to the 
equator, between the meridians of 90^ and Vi50 W., he has in like 
manner examined the logs of vessels which cruised there in search of 
whales 190 days in the years 1832, '33, '34, '35, '36, '39, '40, '41, 
'43, '45, and '46. Some one of these vessels was there in every 
month of the year, except December ; and they saw only a few strag- 
gling whales in February and September. It remains to be seen 
whether this animal revisits annually the same part of the ocean. So 
far, it seems probable that he does not ; though it does not appear that 
he remains in any one part all the year round. What, then, is to 
regulate his visits from place to place ? Probably the abundance of 
food ; therefore, this is a subject to which I would invite particular 
attention. What is the food of the whale ? What localities and 
what temperature of the water are most favorable to its production? 
How long does it take to mature ? Satisfactory replies to these inter- 
rogatories would throw much light upon the subject. 

'* The observations, in addition, required for this work are the lati- 
tude and longitude of the ship, the temperature of the air and water, 
and the set of the current daily; the variation of the compass as often 
as it is observed, and the prevailing character of the wind for every 
eight hours of the twenty-four, stating always the poirU of the com- 
pass whence it blows. Besides this, the mention of whales, large 
quantities of sea-fowl, drift, tide-rips, discolorations of the water, 
fogs, rain, thunder and lightning, whenever they occur or are seen, 
with any other remarks that may be deemed of general interest, 
should be entered in the journal kept for this office. Care must be 
taken to note in it, also, the kind of whale, whether right or sperm." 


PerceWiojBf the importance of the results likely to be obtained, 
the late Secretary of the Navy authorized these charts to be gi^en to 
every navigator, who would return to the National Observatory, ac- 
cording to a form, an abstract of his voyages. Several thousand 
sheets of the chart have already been distributed upon these terms ; 
and there are now engaged, in all parts of the Atlantic Ocean, hun- 
dreds of vessels, making and recording observations. Thus it will 
be seen, that in the course of two or three years the system will prob- 
ably be nearly perfected, and to this time all intelligent navigators 
look forward with much interest. 

Another result already obtained is, that, by examining the manner 
in which the charts are cut up by the tracks of vessels, Lieut. Maury 
is enabled to assert confidently, the non-existence of a number of 
fiigies^ and other dangers of doubtful position, which disfigure our 
most accurate charts. 


While Lieut. Maury is developing in this country a series of 
charts, showing the actual winds and currents of the ocean, a French 
Mvan, using like him the results discovered by others, is endeavour- 
ing to assign a cause for these currents. M. Babinet has communi- 
cated to the French Academy an hypothesis with reference to the 
universal law of currents, which he supposes to hold good in the 
main, though it will be found to be often modified by a great many 
accidental circumstances. 

M. Babinet is not a seaman, but having carefully studied Duper- 
ry's "Chart of Oceanic Currents," and observed many other phenom- 
ena of physical geography, he has built on them the following hy- 
pothesis : — The equatorial zone of the ocean is naturally much 
broader than the others, therefore it expands and overflows itself to 
both poles, while the water at the poles flows to the equator to re- 
store the equilibrium ; but owing to the revolution of the earth on 
her axis, the velocity of the water strata, under the equator, is much 
greater than that of those north and south of it, while the latter 
have a lesser path to describe. It results from this, that the waters 
which flow from the equator have an inclination to advance before 
the motion of the earth, whilst those which come from the poles 
have a tendency to remain behind the motion. If W/O cast a glance 
over the formation of the several continents, the ocean will be found 
divided into a certain number of basins, in which the force of this 
law still endures ; each basin has an eastern and western shore, and 
is inclosed on the other sides by the equator and a boundary which 
may reach to the pole. If the water which comes from the pole to 
this point attains to the equatorial boundary, then it is behind the 
motion of the earth, which goes from east to west; the counterpart 
is found on the boundary opposite the pole, and to complete the 
course, the water which flows from the pole runs along the western 
boundary, and that which returns to the equator runs along the 
eastern boundary. Let us cast a glance on the map of the earth. 


and it will be seen that the irreat ocean is divided into fiTO principal 
basins. The Atlantic contains two, separated from one another by 
the equator ; the Pacific contains two, also separated from one anoth- 
er by the equator ; the other is formed by the Indian Ocean, lying 
between India and Australia. Two circumpolar currents may also 
be perceived, one of which goes round the north pole, and the 
other round the south pole, from east to west. The theory speaks 
of certain tracts of water in the middle of each of the basins, where 
the fluid remains motionless, and where no current exists, shown in 
the chart by the absence of the arrows marking the direction of cur- 
rents. Similar, but much simpler operations are gding on in the at- 
mosphere, producing trade- winds and their counter currents, the 
cause of which has long been known, and M. Babinet has been led 
through them to the present solution of the oceanic current phenom- 
ena. This double circulation of air and water possesses great influ- 
ence in the mitigation of the climate, and the consequences would be 
inconceivable, if, as in the Ptolemic system, the earth were to stand 
still, and the sun to revolve round her, for the revolution of the 
earth on her own axis, and round the sun, is one of the most impor- 
tant elements in the terrestrial system. 


Lieut. Maurt states that he has been very much assisted in de- 
yeloping his theory of winds and currents by means of the thermom- 
eter used by some vessels for determining the temperature of the 
water. It was by means of these obeeryations on the temperature 
of the water that he was enabled to prove that off the shores of 
South America, between the parallels of 35^ and 40O S., there is a 
region of the ocean in which the temperature is as high as that of 
our own Gulf Stream, while in the middle of the ocean and between 
the same parallels the temperature of the water is not so great by 
220. 2«fow this very region is noted for its gales, being the most- 
stormy that the as yet incomplete charts of the South Atlantic indi- 
cate. Lieut. Maury says, however, that very few navigators make 
use of the water-thermometer, so that he has experienced some in- 
convenience in his undertaking. He is the more surprised at this, 
from the fact that New York owes much of her commercial impor- 
tance to a discovery that was made by this thermometer. At the 
time when Dr. Franklin discovered the Gulf Stream, Charleston 
had more foreign trade than New York and all the New England 
States together. Charleston was then the half-way house between 
New and Old England. When a vessel in attempting to enter the 
Delaware or Sandy Hook met a northwest gale or snow-storm, as at 
certain seasons she is apt to do, instead of running off for a few hours 
into the Gulf Stream to thaw and get warm, as she now does, she 
used to put off for Charleston or the West Indies, and there remain- 
ed till the return of spring before making another attempt. A beau- 
tiful instance this of the importance and bearings of a single fact, 
elicited by science from the works of nature. 



" About sunset, we tried whether a horse and a donkey could swim 
in the sea without turning over. The result was, that, although the 
animals turned a little on one side, they did not lose their balance. 
A muscular man floated nearly breast-high, without the least exertion. 
A horse taken into the bay could with difficulty keep himself upright. 
Two fresh hen's eggs floated up one third of their length; they 
would have sunk in the water of the Mediterranean or the Atlantic. 
The water of the sea was very buoyant ; with great difficulty I kept 
my feet down ; and when I laid upon my back, and, drawing up my 
knees, placed my hands upon them, I rolled immediately over." 

" Tried the relative density of the water of this sea and of the At- 
lantic, — the latter from 260 north latitude, and 620 west longitude ; 
distilled water being as 1. The water of the Atlantic was 1.02, and 
of this sea 1.13. The last dissolved one eleventh, the water of the 
Atlantic one sixth, and the distilled water five seventeenths of its 
weight of salt. The salt used was a little damp. On leaving the 
Jordan we carefully noted the draught of the boats. With the same 
loads, they drew one inch less water when afloat on this sea than in 
the river. Since our return, some of the water qf the Dead Sea has 
been subjected to a powerful microscope, ai(l no animalculse or ves- 
tige of animal matter could be detected." — Liettt, Lynch' s Expedition 
to the Dead Sea and the Jordan, 


Wk learn from the London Patent Journal that Mr. James Ander- 
son, of Glasgow, has secured a patent for a plan for the seemingly in- 
significant purpose of separating potatoes of different qualities, but 
the method adopted merits attention. According to experiment it 
was found that a potato containing 20 per cent- of solid nutriment was 
about the specific gravity of 1080, that is, taking distilled water at 
520 as unity, while the same root with 30 per cent, of nutriment is 
of a specific gravity of 1.120. Taking this rule, which the patentee 
found to be invariably correct, he is enabled to divide the vegetables 
into two or more distinct classes. For this purpose he places them in 
a vessel containing water brought to a density suited to the quality of 
the article, which is easily effected by adding salt or clay to the water, 
and then those which are of less specific gravity will float, while the 
heavier ones will sink. These two qualities may be again immersed 
in liquids of different specific gravity, and so again subdivided. 




M. Pasteur, of Paris, has availed himself of the beautiful discov- 
ery of M. Biot, of the influence of.chemieal composition in altering 
the rotation of polarized light, to show that the tartrates and parataf- 
trates difl^r from each oU|er only in the form of their crystals. 

M. Ossian Henry has communicated to the Paris Academy of 
Sciences a memoir upon the existence of two new bodies belonging to 
the amide series, one a limpid yellowish oil, lighter than water, and 
disengaging a strong and penetrating odor, which he considers a ^- 
sufphuret of amidogeny — the other a delicate yellow oil which, when 
burnt, gives out an alliaceous smell, combined with a citron-like oder, 
which he regards as a sulphoa/anuret of amidogen. 

In the Brussels Ackiemy, M. Louget has given the results of some 
experiments on the passage of hydrogen gas through solid bodies, 
by which he shows that this subtile gas passes with facility through 
paper, and even through leaves of gold and silver. By directing a 
stream of the gas on one side of the leaf, it may be lighted on the oth- 
er. As proving the extreme tenuity of the gas and the porosity of 
the metals, this is important. 

AnJiydrous nitric acid, which has not hitherto been procured by 
chemists, has at length been prepared by M. Deville, of Besan^on, 
France, by passing perfectly dry chlorine over equally dry nitrate of 
silver ; no action takes place at ordinary temperatures, but the nitrate 
must be heated at first to 203^ Fahr. , and then lowered to 140^ - 150^ ; 
the decomposition then proceeds quite regularly. At first hyponitrous 
acid is formed, but on lowering the temperature the new substance ia 
deposited in crystals, in the cooled part of the apparatus ; -although a 
cold of 6^ was employed to condense the vapors, the crystals were 
found to form when ice alone was used. The vapor of the anhydrous 
nitric acid penetrates caoutchouc tubes with such ease, that it is 
necessary that all parts of the apparatus through which it passes 
should be solidly joined. The anhydrous nitric acid forms large, bril- 
liant, colorless crystals in six-sided prisms of the trimetric system. 



The melting point is 850, the boiling point 1130. With water much 
heat is eTolved, and solution takes place without the escape of gas ; 
the solution forms nitrates. Decomposition takes place so near the 
boiling point of the crystals, that the density of the vapor cannot 
well he determined. On attempting to recrystallize the substauce in a 
sealed tube, in which it had been suffered to liquefy, a Tiolent ex- 
plosion took place. 


M. DuMAS has recently communicated to the Paris Academy of 
Sciences an account of the method used by him in effecting the 
liquefaction of large quantities of protoxide of nitrogen. He used a 
force-pump constructed for the purpose, securely bound with a belt 
of iron. He so arranged it that, the reservoir being surrounded by 
ice, the body of the pump was cooled by a circulation of water around 
it, and even the stem of the piston was always moistened by cold 
water. He then compressed into the reservoir in the course of two 
hours 200 litres of gas, of which 20 suffice to produce a pressure of 
80 atmospheres, about which liquefaction commences. The remain- 
der of the gas furnishes a liquid. Once compressed, the liquid gas 
may be preserved in the reservoirs for a day or two, but if the stop- 
eork is opened the gas escapes, and a portion freezes at first, but soon 
flows in a liquid state ; the solid portion resembles a mass of snow. 
It melts upon the hand, and rapidly evaporates, leaving a severe bum. 
The liquid portion, which is far the most abundant, if received in a 
glass keeps for half an hour, even in the open air. 

The protoxide of nitrogen is liquid, colorless, very mobile, and 
perfectly transparent. Metal dropped into it produces a hissing 
noise like that of red-hot iron plunged in water* Quicksilver causes 
the same noise, freezes, and affords a hard brittle mass, resembling 
silver in color. Potassiiim floats upon the liquid and experiences no 
ehange, and the same is the case with charcoal, sulphur, phosphorus, 
and iodine. Ignited charcoal floats and burns with brilliancy. Sul- 
phuric acid and concentrated nitric acid freeze. Water is converted 
to ice with a slight explosion. — SilUman^s Journal, July. 


At a late meeting of the Asiatic Society of London, a human hand 
and a piece of beef, preserved by means of a preparation of vegeta- 
ble tar, found on the borders of the Red Sea in the vicinity of Mocha, 
were presented; a specimen of the tar accompanied them. Col. 
Hold, who presented the specimens, observes, — '* During my resi- 
dence on the Red Sea, a conversation with some Bedouin Arabs, in the 
vicinity of Mocha, led me to suspect that the principal ingredient used 
by the' ancient Egyptians in the formation of mummies was nothing 
more than the vegetable tar of those countries, which is called by the 
Arabs Katren. My first trials to prove the truth of this conjecture 
were on fowls and legs of mutton, and, though made in July, when 


the thennometer ranged at 94^ in the shade, they succeeded bo much 
to my satisfaction, that I forwarded some to England, and have' now 
the pleasure to send to the Society a human hand prepared in a similar 
way four years since. The best informed among the Arabs think that 
large quantities of camphor, myrrh, aloes, and frankincense were used in 
the preparation of the mummies. These specimens will, however, 
prove that such additions were by no means necessary, as the tar ap- 
plied alone penetrates and discolors the bone. This tar is obtained from 
the branches of a small tree or shrub, exposed to a considerable degree 
of heat, and it is found in most parts of Syria and Arabia Felix." 


It has been generally supposed that the elements of sulphuric acid 
will not combine in a direct manner, and that the presence of water 
is necessary to insure its formation. Prof. Davy has lately shown 
that this is an error ; and by the following experiment, made before 
the Royal Dublin Society, he demonstrated the practicability of form- 
ing sulphuric acid directly from its elements. Having placed in a dry 
Florence flask some sulphur, he vaporized it by the application of 
heat, and then ignited the vapor by means of a red-hot iron rod. 
The combustion extends throughout the vessel ; at the instant of its 
taking place, both sulphuric acid and sulphurous acid are formed, the 
former descending in condensed drops, and the latter escaping from the 
flask. Prof Davy hopes to render his process available in the manu- 
facture of oil of vitiioL 


Two French chemists have made a minute examination of chloro- 
form, and have communicted the results obtained to the Journal de Phar- 
made el de Chimie, and it is from this that we derive the following 
statements. In commerce two liquids are known under the name of 
chloroform, which are of different origin, but are considered identical, 
and are often substituted for each other. There are, however, con- 
siderable difierences in their properties ; one, which may be called the 
normal chloroform, being derived from the reaction of hypochlorite of 
lime upon alcohol, while the other comes from the action of the same 
substance upon pyroxylic spirit, and differs very much from the first. 
That derived from pyroxylic spirit, which the authors conditionally 
call methylic chloroform, although it has the same appearance as the 
other, has a very different odor, being not sweet and agreeable, but 
nauseous, and having a burnt or empyreumatic smell. Its density is 
also less than that of the normal chloroform, and its boiling-point not 
so high, and its inhalation is far from pleasant, often causing general 
uneasiness, followed by heaviness of the head, continued nausea, and 
sometimes vomiting. On examination it was found that the two 
chloroforms are in reality identical, but that there is in the methylic 
variety a considerable quantity of foreign substance of an oily con- 
sistency, which is composed of several substances, and which it is 



impossible at present wholly to expel. This oil is extremely hart* 
ful to the animal economy, so that the normal chloroform is the only 
one proper for inhalation, and even this should be carefully rectified 
by distillation, as it often contains foreign substances, which produce 
the sfune effects as the methylic chioroform,-^ Brewster^ s Journal, 


Dr. C. T. Jackson, at the meeting of the Boston Natural History 
Society, April 4th, laid before the Society the results of his obser- 
vation on the comparative effects of -the inhalation of nitrous oxide, 
the vapor of chloroform, and sulphuric ether. Nitrous oxide, he said, 
administered in large doses, produces great excitement, which in- 
creases with the quantity inhaled. The vapor of chloroform, on the 
other hand, when inhaled rapidly, causes an immediate and entire 
Prostration. The same is true, in a less degree, of sulphuric ether. 
They do not produce the intoxication which is caused by nitrous 
oxide, and this agent also, when administered slowly, fails to produce 
the usual effects. The vapor of chloroform, slowly inhaled, has an 
injurious influence, disorganizing the blood, and stopping the circula- 
tion in the capillaries. When suddenly introduced it retards, but 
does not stop, the circulation. Patients to whom it is slowly admin- 
istered recover slowly, and it is important in all cases that enough air 
should be admitted with it. Persons inhaling nitrous oxide retain the 
sensibility to touch, and respiratory action is quickened, increases, 
and becomes deeper as the inhalation is prolonged. During the in- 
halation of chloroform and ether, on the contrary, the respiratory 
action diminishes. Under the influence of exhilarating-gas the sys- 
tem is made very irritable. Dr. Jackson thought that the few cases 
of excitement after the inhalation of ether might be attributed to 
the previous state of mind of the patient, or to alcohol combined 
with it. Conclusions drawn from experiments upon animals with 
these agents, should be received with great caution, for their action 
on animals differs according as these have or have not a cutaneous 
perspiration. It kills those of the latter class. Dr. Jackson recom- 
mended a mixture of chloroform with alcohol, in the proportion of an 
eighth or a quarter of an ounce of the former to four ounces of the 

Dr. Warren remarked, that from his own experience he preferred 
ether to chloroform, as being much safer, and in his own practice 
used chloric ether in preference to either of the other aniesthetie 



Stanislas Julien has found, in examining the Chinese books in the 
National Library at Paris, the proof that the Chinese have been long 
acquainted with the use of anaesthetic agents during surgical opera- 
tions. The extract which he gives is Arom a book published about 
the commeDcement of the sixteenth century, in fifty volumes quarto, 


tndeDtitled» ** Km-tin-irlong,^* — General AccouMof Ancieni and 
Modem Medicine f — aod refen to the practice of a celebrated phy- 
sician, Ho-a-tho, who flourished between the years 220 and 230 of 
our era. It states, that, when about to perform certain painful opera- 
tions, ^* he gave the jpatient a preparation of hemp," (Hachich,) and 
that at the end of a few moments '' he became as insensible as if he 
had been drunk or deprived of life." After a certain number of days 
the patient was cured, without having experienced the slightest pain 
during the operation. In a subsequent notice he also shows that the 
same physicians used the hydropathic system as a cure for certain dis- 
eases ; among others, chronic rheumatism. — Conges Rendus, Jan, 29. 


pRorsssoR Simpson has been testing the properties of naphtha, 
which seems to be as good as ether for inducing temporary insensibil- 
ity. Professor S. administered the naphtha to two patients, a man and 
a boy, on whom Mr. Milter performed the painful operation of ex- 
tracting portions of necrossed bones from the tibia, by perforating the 
newly-formed shell with the trephine, and removing the sequestra 
with the forceps. The sleep induced was deep and tranquil, and the 
breathing was less stertorous than when chloroform is employed ; but 
it was remarked, that the effect of the naphtha upon the heart's action 
was much greater, the pulse becoming extremely rapid and flut- 
tering, thus rendering it less safe as an anaesthetic agent than chlo- 


M. Van Alsten, of Rotterdam, has recently &llen a victiro to his 
devotion to science. He was the author of a work on chemistry, and 
was desirous before finishing it of testing to what degree a man might 
without danger inhale hydrogen gas. He tried the experiment on his 
own person, and, in spite of all the exertions of his physicians, he 
died in a few hours. — AthemBum, June. 



The most extraordinary and valuable discovery which has been 
made during the year 1849 is undoubtedly thM, of M. Melsens, Pro- 
fessor of the State Veterinary and Agricultural College of Belgium, 
relatiye to the extraction and clarification of cane or beet sugar. The 
success which has attended this gentleman's experiments has caused 
the greatest sensation among the manufacturers and statesmen of 
li^ance and Belgium. This could not be otherwise in countries 
where so large a capital is invested in the growth of beets, and the 
manufacture of sugar from them, in the refining of exotic sugar, and 
the important collateral interests to which they have given rise. A 
committee of the most diBtingoished scientific men of France and 



Betgiam were appointed by the two goyernments, and in their pres- 
ence experiments were made which tested the efficacy and value of 
the new method. The process for some time was kept secret, but M. 
Melsens having obtained a patent from the French and Belgian gov- 
ernments, a memoir has been published revealing the essential facts of 
the discovery and its method of application. The importance of this 
discovery, and its bearing upon the interests of this country, induced 
Hon. S. G. Clemson, Chiargi (V Affaires of the United States at Bel- 
ginm, to transmit to the Secretary of State a full translation of the 

The following condensed and popular account of the discovery, 
with remarks on the same, we copy from the New York Journal of 

*' In the phenomena of the crystallization of sugar, we encounter a 
series of anomalies which have baffled the efforts of the greatest 
chemists, to reduce the incoherent facts to a consistent theory. Ber- 
zelius, Dumas, Proust, and other names known in the higher walks of 
practical science, are associated with investigations into the elementary 
properties of saccharine juice, and the most effective method of turn- 
ing those properties to advantage, in the manufacture and extraction 
of solid sugar. Although the improvements made in this branch of 
the industrial arts, within the present century, have been numerous and 
great, they have been very far from approaching the point of excel- 
lence attained by other arts, concerned in supplying the luxuries, 
wants, and necessities of mankind. In fact, it has long been recog- 
nized that, among the arts of production, it was in the manufacture of 
sugar that there remained to be taken one of those strides, which im- 
mortalize a name, and signalize an epoch. This stride has recently 
been taken by a young Belgian chemist, of the name of Melsens, pro- 
fessor in the Veterinary and Agricultural School of the State, at 
Brussels. It is a certainty that Melsens' s discovery is destined to ex- 
ercise an influence upon the production of one of our national staples, 
which will be attended with a vast accession of national wealth. The 
principal features of this discovery may be compressed into a small 

*' It is a well-established fact that the sugar-cane, when in a heal- 
thy condition, contains no sugar that is not crystallizable. It is also 
known that the extraction of this solid is easily effected by means of 
weak alcohol, which first dissolves it, and then leaves it, by evapora- 
tion, in the form of pure and colorless crystals. But, together with 
crystallizable sugar, there also coexists in the cane certain fermenta- 
tives capable of determining a transformation of the sugar into other 
products. The action of these agents is only rendered possible by 
placing them in contact with the sugar by means of water, after hav- 
mg been previously exposed to the influence of the external air. 

'* In bitter almonds there also exists a substance which may be 
crystallized by alcohol without losing its purity. But the effect is en- 
tirely different when water is used in the place of alcohol. This sub- 
Btance found in bitter almonds (amygdaline) disappears or undergoes 
a metamorphosis, and by the change various new substances are 


formed entirely diflferent from the orig^aL That water ahould have 
this effect, it is necessary that it should come in contact with the air, 
and that it 1»hould encounter and dissoWe certain fermenting sub- 
stances which are found in the tissue of the bitter almonds, with the 

'* rho rapidity with which the cane juice, in warm climates, under- 
goes alteration, is the great obstacle to the extraction of the pure 
soUd, and the great cause of loss in the process. 

'* The chemist, in his laboratory, solves the problem of the eztrao* 
tion of sugar, by the emplo3rment of alcohol. This agent, without 
producing the slightest alteration in the properties of the sugar, 
separates it from its associated substances, and protects it from OTcry 
destructive influence. Alcohol, however, will not answer the pur- 

1>08es of practical industry, which require the employment of an agent 
ow in price and of easy application. Such an agent alcohol is not ; 
it is costly, and dangerous as a combustible. But is it beyond the 
resources of chemistry to discover a liquid which, like alcohol, will 
separate the sugar and prevent the fermentation which, in the manu- 
facturing processes now in use, ensues as a consequence of the contact 
of the juice with the external air? Such was the question Melsens 
proposed to himself, and which he has answered triumphantly by the 
production df the agent. 

** It was step by step, by an infinite series of experiments, and by 
the conceutrated direction of a thoughtfial and educated intellect, that 
Melsens succeeded in detecting and bringing to the light of day what 
had escaped the scrutiny of Dumas and Berzelius. The first small 
fact upon which he proceeded was, that, in the tissues of the cane, 
sugar is found dissolved in water, and it will remain there in a state 
of preservation for a considerable length of time. From this fact, it 
was legitimate to infer, that if water could be used as a solvent, the 
condition^ accompanying its presence in the tissues being retained, the 
saccharine substance could be extracted unaltered. The difficulties, 
therefore, attending the extraction are not connected with the sugar or 
the water, but with the air, and the fermentatives which its contact 
develops. This being the case, were it possible to crush the cane in 
vacuo J and to express the juice and boil it in vacuo, either for the pur^ 
pose of purifying or evaporating, nothing would remain to be desired. 
But this is not possible, at least upon a large scale. Melsens was 
thus urged to the discovery of an agent absorptive of air, hostile to 
fermentation, innocuous to man, low in price, and easy of production. 
Such an agent he found to exist in the bisulphite of time, 

*^ Melsens's experiments with this agent were made upon a dozen 
varieties of juice, including beet-root juice, or pulp, grape juice, 
and cane juice. The results were uniform ; the sugar crystallized 
without loss, without trouble, and without the production of molasses. 
The earlier experiments demonstrated that the bisulphite of lime, em- 
ployed as a body absorptive of oxygen, and as an antiseptic, had no 
injurious effect upon the sugar, if applied cold, and in such a manner 
as to mix with the juice at the very moment of the rupture of the 
cellular tissues ; and further, that in its presence the action of heat 


required for purification became perfectly innocaoueu In the latter 
operation, the lime employed caused the bisulphite to disappear by 
neutralizing it, leaving the juice purified and free from fermentatives, 
and from all matters capable of producing them. The juice thus pre- 
pared was ready for evaporation without any loss of sagar. 

'* But the bisulphite of lime was soon discovered to possess other 
qualities of a peculiar character. With the antiseptic property, and 
the property of absorbing the oxygen gas of air, it unites the proper- 
ties of a powerful purifier. Heated to 10<P, French measurement, it 
separates the albumen, the caseine, and matters containing nitrogen, 
all of which are found to exist in a natural state in saccharine juice. 
The separation is effected without loss, and without any appreciable 
transformation of the sugar. It remained to be ascertained how far 
the bisulphite was effective in opposing the coloring of saccharine 
liquids. The coloring of the saccharine juices of the cane proceeds 
from four principal causes : — 1. The cane itself contains colored mat- 
ter, which becomes dissolved in the juice. 2. The contact of the 
juice with the air rapidly engenders colored substances, which unite 
with the preceding. 3. The heat employed in evaporating, by alter- 
ing a part of the sagar and of the products which accompany it, 
also forms coloring matter. 4. The contact of the air and of the 
lime, and also of the ammoniacal gases, assisted by the action of the 
heat, produces coloring matter during the evaporation of the juices 
when alkalized by lime. 

'' The bisulphite of lime almost instantaneously extracts the color of 
the colored matter which exists in the cane from natural causes ; it 
prevents the formation of the colored matter which the air produces 
by its contact with the juice ; and prevents the production of that 
which is engendered during evaporation, and especially of that which 
requires for its formation the concurrence of the air and of a free 
alkali. The effect attending the use of the bisulphite, as an agent 
capable of resisting the formation of color, is so reogkarkable as to de- 
serve the attention of persons employed in many branches of the pro- 
ductive arts. There is no doubt that the cases are numerous in which 
it can be employed in the most efficacious manner, in preventing the 
formation of those coloring matters, which, when once formed, it is 
found ^ difficult to destroy or extract. Such matters, for instance, 
are those which color hemp>yarn and flax, indigo after precipitation, 
the juice of barks used in tanning, and the extracts of certain dye- 

*' Meanwhile, Melsens has established that, in the process of evapor- 
ating without the application of artificial heat, the presence of the bi- 
sulphite effectually opposes the formation of coloring matter, and that 
where the evaporation is effected by the application of artificial heat, 
the coloring matter formed is scarcely perceptible. 

*' Although we have omitted many details, we have exhibited enough 
to show that bisulphite of lime can be employed in the operation of 
extracting sugar from the cane, — 1. As an antiseptic of superior ex- 
cellence, preventing the production and action of fermentatives of 
whatever kind. 2, Aq an agent absorptive of oxygen, capable of 



proTenting the altarations ooeanoned by the presence of the latter In 
the juice. 3. Asa purifying agent, which, at lOOdAgrees, will clari- 
fy the juice and separate from it all albuminous and coagulating sub- 
stances. 4. As an agent capable of expelling preexisting colors. 5. 
As an anti-colorant, capable of effectually preventing the formation of 
coloring matter. 6. As an agent capable of neutralizing the injurious 
acids which may be found existing, or may be engendered in the 

*' The questions that next presented theroseWes for investigation 
were, in what proportions, and under what forms, the bisulphite of 
lime should be applied,-— what inconveniences, balancing its prom- 
ised advantages, might attend its use. To enable himself to answer 
these questions satisfactorily, Melsens procured from the province of 
Murcia, in Spain, —where for ages sugar from the cane has been 
manufactured, — a quantity of ripe canes. They reached Paris in 
good condition, and were deposited in the laboratory of the Sorbonne, 
where the experiments were being prosecuted. A number of persons 
conversant with the manufacture of sugar in the colonies were pres- 
ent at the first essays. The results were such as to fill them with 
surprise. The juice was extracted by crushing the cane in a com- 
mon mortar previously supplied with the bisulphate. It was puri- 
fied by ebullition, and then passed through a piece of cloth. The 
syrup, after being concentrated and filtered a second time, was lefl to 
slow crystallization. The sugar obtained by this simple process was 
as excellent in quality as could have been obtained by the use of 

*' The experiments tried in Paris upon the cane-juice demonstrate 
that the employment of the bisulphite secures the extraction of all the 
sugar contamed in the cane, and produces it in a solid and crystallized 
form. The crystals are large and firm : they are not more colored 
than common candy, of which they have the appearance, and they 
exhibit no appreciable traces of the slightest alteration being ef- 
fected in the saccharine properties. If, therefore, we take into con- 
sideration the almost absolute purity of the cane-juice, — which is in 
reality nothing but sugared water, — when purification has once been 
efifected, and if we also take into consideration the special aptitude of 
cane-sugar to assume the form of large crystals, it would seem al- 
most certain that the first planter who will submit a quantity of syrup 
to slow crystallization, by Melsens's method, will obtain crystals ex- 
ceeding in size and quantity, and excelling in whiteness and appear- 
ance, all previous experience. 

*' But we have not done with the advantages that will attend the 
introduction of this new agent. It is well known that the juice ex- 
tracted from the cane by means of pressure is but a small proportion 
— sometimes only a half, and at most two thirds — of what might 
be extracted. There remains, therefore, behind, a third or more of 
the natural yield of the sugar-crop, and this third becomes, we be- 
lieve, a total loss. The extraction of the sugar, thus wasted, by sim- 
ply washing with pure water, is not to be thought of. The air, the 
heat, the fermentatives, and other causes, contribute to establish a 


rapid fermentation, and no gain can be derived from the operation. 
But by Melsens's process the difficulty and waste are obviated. With 
water containing- a small quantity of the bisulphite, not only may the 
washing be effected with ease, but at the leisure of the planter. 
Hours or days, at his will, may be employed in this operation, now, 
perforce, neglected altogether. The saccharine washings will be 
found nearly as rich in sugar as the juice proves, and if treated in the 
same manner, by purification, by simple filtration, and by concentric 
tion in the free air to the consistency of syrap, crystallization will en- 
sue with equal certainty and success, the product being in all re« 
spects similar and equal to that obtained from the juice itself. 

'' A comparison of the methods actually in use, in the extraction of 
sugar from saccharine juices, with that prescribed by Melsens, will 
assist in the formation of a correct appreciation of the superiority of 
the latter. 

'* By the present methods, the croshing being operated under ex" 
posure to the air, the alterations attending it render rapidity of exe- 
cution indispensable. But, however rapid the execution may be, it 
does not, and cannot, prevent alterations from taking place. Again, 
the purification effected by means of lime develops and stimulates 
the formation of coloring matter, and compels the employment of ani- 
mal black. Finally, the process of evaporation, which is effected at 
a high temperature, roodiiies a portion of the sugar which the heat 
renders uncrystallizable. From this results the necessity of resorting 
to repeated operations, and to four or five successive crystallizations, 
which are never completely productive. Melsens's method, on the 
other hand, allows of ample time, dispenses with animal black, and 
eiSects the production of the solid sugar by a single crystallization. 

'* The present product of a hundred pounds' weight of sugar-cane 
does not exceed nine pounds' weight of sugar, whereas the natural 
contents are about eighteen, the whole of which may be extracted by 
the new method. Introduced into this country, it will prove only 
second in importance to Whitney's cotton-gin. It will increase the 
culture of the cane and the manufacture of its precious secretion. 
With the lessened cost of production, the price to the consumer must 
also be lessened." 

Since the announcement of the discovery of Melsens in this coun- 
try, the process has been repeated by various persons on the sugar 
plantations of Louisiana with perfect Buccesa, -^ Editors, 


In addition to the above description of M. Melsens's discovery, we 
subjoin the following interesting statement, given by himself, of the 
origin of the discovery and the confirmatory experiments undertaken 
by him. After speaking of some previous investigations, he says, — 
'* Three substances particularly fixed my attention : the binoxide uf 
azote, sulphurous acid, and aldehyde. This remarkable class of 
compositions, having a great affinity for oxygen, and which contain 
already two equivalents of this body, and absorb a third with fieu^ilitf 


to prodoee teids, appeared to me eminently proper to Ivlfil one of tbo 
eonditions mentioned, viz., to prerent by their presence the oxygen of 
the air from acting in prodocing fermentation. 

'* I have no doubt but that some one more capable than myself will 
ultimately succeed in giving a practical form to the binoxide of aiote, 
for I cannot believe but that a substance which destroys instantly 
oxygen, and forms with it an acid proper to precipitate the fermenting 
matters, will be one day employed in the extraction of sugar. Di»- 
solved in the sulphate of iron, it would guarantee the juice from all 
alteration until the end of the purification by lime, and this accmn- 
plished, the juice would retain scarcely a trace of the reagents em- 

** Aldehyde, or the organic substances which resemble it, are too 
dear. I therefore made no stop at them. 

*' During all the experiments which I slightly mention, I found my- 
self always inclined to return to the use of sulphurous acid ; its effi- 
cacy as an obstacle to fermentation is so well proved, its price is so 
low, its production so easy, and the substances necessary to produce 
it so universal. It is true, that sulphurous acid, which was so suo- 
cessful in the hands of Proust when used to prevent fermentation in 
the saccharine matter of grapes, has always presented, when applied 
to the manufacture of beet-sugar, insurmountable objections. 1 was 
not ignorant, either, that the most experienced persons had failed in 
the attempt to use it. Nothing practied had resulted from their 

*' if sulphurous acid can be profitably used where the must of grapes 
is concerned, if in preventing fermentation it has no infiuence on the 
sugar, it is because it possesses at once these properties either of 
itself, or because it is converted into sulphuric acid by the action of 
the air. Every one knows, on the contrary, that the cane-sugar is 
ehanged, and takes the nature of grape>sugar, when placed in contact 
with acids, particularly with sulphuric acid. Thus, however inoffen- 
sive the sulphurous acid is when applied to the must of grapes, it ia 
impossible to use it for the juice of the sugar-cane or the beet; for 
as soon as the air absorbed by the sulphurous acid changes it into 
sulphuric acid, the effect of this last on the juices mentioned changes 
them into grape-sugar. Reflecting on this difficulty, I asked myself 
if sulphurous acid used with a powerful base, such as potash, soda, 
or lime, would still present this obstacle. I found, in reality, that 
the base, absorbing the sulphuric acid as soon as formed, left the 
sugar intact. From this point I was led to make many experimente, 
easy to reproduce, useless to repeat in detail, and which I will sum 
tip in a few words. 

*' Dissolved sulphurous acid added to a solution of the juice of sugar- 
cane, or beets, prevents fermentation, but destroys slowly the sugar 
if left cold in contact with the air. If heated, the destruction is much 
more rapid. The neutral sulphites of potash, of soda, and of lime, 
do not prevent fermentation, but do not injure the sugar, whether 
cold or warm. Neither of these products, then, would serve. The 
acid sulphites, and more especially the solphite of lime, presented, on 


the contrary, properties worthy of interest. Salpharoos acid, in ex* 
cess, prevents all fermentation. The base which all these salts con- 
tain neutralizes the sulphuric acid as fast as it is formed. It remains 
to be seen if, by themselves, or by their excess of sulphurous acid, 
they have or not the power to convert cane-sugar into grape-sugar. I 
have heated, for several hours, small quantities of sugar-candy, dis- 
solved in water, with a large quantity of bisulphite of lime. The 
sugar was changed. It bmame uncrystallizable and deliquescent* 
The syrup thus formed presented sometimes an appearance with 
which manufacturers of sugar are well acquainted. Submitted to the 
action of heat for evaporation, it remained motionless. There was, 
therefore, the proper quantity to find out, and much care to be taken ; 
but as it takes a great deal of the bisulphite of lime to destroy the 
sugar, and a small quantity to destroy fermentation, I thought this 
agent worthy of a closer examination. Sugar-candy in cold water, 
charged with bisulphite of lime, even in excess, crystallizes without 
loss and without change, by spontaneous evaporation, at a very slow 
heat It is, therefore, possible to manufacture sugar without artificial 
heat. Perfectly white sugar-candy being dissolved in ten times its 
weight of water, I added half its weight of a solution of bisulphite of 
lime, marking ten degrees of the areometer of Baume, and boiled it 
for about an hour. It was then filtered, to clear it of the neutral sul- 
phite, which was deposited. It was afterwards put into a plate, 
where it crystallized entirely without a trace of molasses, leaving 
precipitated, however, a small quantity of the tartrate of copper, 
which had been dissolved in the potash. Straw-colored sugar-candy, 
treated in the same way, gives the same result, ouly that the crystals 
are lighter-colored than the candy itself. The same experiment with 
all kinds of sugar produced the same results, whether the liquid, 
when evaporated, was left acid, or had been carefully neutralized after 
boiling. I found, also, that the crystallization was as perfect and rapid 
when the liquid was left unfiltered, as when it was filtered before the 


It is not generally known to how great an extent the manufacture 
of sugar from fecula, or starch, is carried on in France. The mode 
of proceeding is to have large leaden boilers, in which is one ton of 
water, heated to a boiling point, and to this twenty-two pounds of 
sulphuric acid at 60^, diluted with twice its weight of water, is added. 
The vessel is provided with a wooden cover, Coated with copper, which 
has a small opening to allow the liquor to be stirred with a wooden 
rod. After the liquor begins to boil, eight hundred- weight of starch 
flour is gradually sifted into it, care being taken to prevent the forma- 
tion of lumps and to have the boiling uniform. In some factories the 
starch is first mixed with water, and placed in a vessel above the 
water, and made to flow into the boiling acid in a uniform stream by 
a tube. The boiling is continued about fifteen minutes after the 
starch is put in, and then the fire is so regulated that the liquor ceases 



to boil, tfler whkh twenty-two pounds of ehalk aie added to nemtralize 
the free acid ; bat this must be put in very ^wly, on acoount of the 
violent evolution of the carbonic acid set free by the new combina- 
tion, which produces sulphate of lime. The liquor is then strained 
through coarsely pulverized bones spread on straining-doths. The 
filter^ liquor is gradually brought into flat pans and evaporated till 
it is reduced to half its volume, when it is a second time boiled, with 
charcoal and bullock's blood, and then refined and filtered. One hun- 
dred parts of dry starch yield about one hundred parts of sugar, 
which is obtained by concentrating the syrup and putting it into casks, 
where it is left to cool. After two days crystallized sugar is found in 
the casks, with some liquid, which is drawn off. Thus by the aid of 
chemistry we obtain sugar from potato-starch, sulphuric acid, chalk, 
and water. This sugar is used for giving more '* body " to the Bur- 
gundy wines, and for confectionery. It is known chemically as 


An important and entirely unexpected discovery made recently by 
M. Bernard has been announced to the French Academy. He has 
fijund that by wounding a certain part of the floor of the fourth ven- 
tricle, the composition of the urine becomes altered, and sugar makes 
its appearance in it. The puncture is made by passing the instru- 
ments through the inferior orifice of the ventricle, and soon afterwards 
the urine of the animal (a rabbit), which before the operation is turbid, 
alkaline, and free from saccharine matter, becomes abundant, clear, 
and Qontains in solution a very large quantity of sugar, and resem- 
bles that of a diabetes. In general not more than an hour and a half 
or two hours are requisite for the complete production of this change 
in the characters of the urine. The blood also contains a large 
amount of sugar. The experiments have hitherto been made upon 
sixteen rabbits ; and by varying them, M. Bernard has found that the 
point of the fourth ventricle which must be wounded to produce this 
remarkable phenomenon of the appearance of sugar in the blood and 
* urine is very limited, and corresponds to a space situated a little above 
the origin of the eighth pair of nerves. These results, which are so 
surprising from their novelty, cannot at present be in any way ex- 
plained. They merely serve to show the remarkable influence which 
the nervous system exerts upon the functions of nutrition ; and in this 
light they deserve the serious attention of chemists. 


It has been generally maintained that sugar exists in the blood of 
animals only when they have previously eaten substances containing 
it, or capable of being converted into it, — the economy having, in 
fact, been most explicitly denied the power of making sugar, its sole 
province being that of destroying it and causing its disappearance. 
As sugar is found in the blood after the digestion of amylaceous and 
sacchs^ine substances, it has been hastily assumed that its existence is 


due to the use of these descriptions of aliment. Experiments per- 
formed by Dr. Charles Bernard prove, however, that sugar is found 
in the blood in all alimentary regimens, and even after long abstinence , 
and that the origin of this sugar in animals fed on meat alone, or svlh 
jected to long abstinence^ must be in the liver ^ In this organ it becomes 
mixed with the blood, and is carried by the vena cava inferior and the 
supra-hepatic veins to the right side of the heart, where it is constant- 
ly found. An examination of sugar produced from the blood or liver 
proves that it is neither cane-sugar nor sugar of milk, but it presents 
ail the chemical characters of grape-sugar or glucose. 

But how is the sugar thus found produced? Does it result direct- 
ly from a peculiar transformation of certain elements of the liver, or is 
it derived from external alimentary substances deposited or accumu- 
lated in this organ ? As it might be said that animals fed on meat, or 
kept fasting, had, prior to the experiments, partaken of food which sup- 
plied the sugar in question, examination of t^e blood and liver was 
made in those which had been so kept for ten days, and yet the sugar 
was found ; while, on the other hand, this was quite absent in other 
animals which had been fed on saccharine articles of food, and in 
which the pneumagastric nerves on both sides were divided. The 
quantity of sugar found in the liver and blood of different animals 
varies. Dr. Bernard's observations, however, allow him to affirm, that 
in birds (fowls and pigeons) the proportion is very considerable, as it 
is also in mammalia (dogs, rabbits, pigs, oxen, ^horses, &c.). In rep- 
tiles (frogs and lizards) it is very slight, while in fishes no traces are 
found, thus indicating that the absence of sugar in cold-blooded ani- 
mals depends upon the inferior energy of their respiratory functions* 


It has long been known that the honey of the bee contains two 
different sugars, one of which is solid, and the other liquid. The for- 
mer is considered as identical with the granular sugar, which is slow- 
ly deposited from the syrup of raisin-sugar, or in that of cane-sugar 
altered by acids. As to the liquid part of the honey, it has been but 
little studied, though M. Biot has stated that it is a sugar which turns 
the rays of polarized light to the left. M. Soubeiran has been en- 
gaged in making some investigations into the composition of honey, 
and, after detailing his experiments, arrives at the following results. 
Honey is composed of a mixture of three different sugars ; one is the 
granular sugar ; another the liquid sugar, which resembles in many 
particulars cane-sugar altered by acids, but is distinguished from it in 
possessing a much stronger rotary power towardis the left. The 
liquid sugar of honey retains its rotary power towards the left even 
after it has been rendered solid ; it is one of the few substances which 
possess this character. The third sugar which constitutes part of 
honey is distinguished from granular sugar in being unalterable by 
acids, and from liquid sugar in rotating towards the right. Its pro- 
portion is considerable in honey from the comb, but diminishes by 
keeping, and even entirely ceases to exist in solidified honey. — Vln- 




Mr. W. Crum describes, in Brewster^ s Magazine for NoTember, a 
peculiar fibre of cotton, which is found to resist the usual processes 
for dyeing, and thus to leave white spots in the cloth. Such spots 
have lonj? been noticed and dreaded by calico-printers, who call the 
cotton of which they are formed dead cotton. The ordinary cotton 
fibre is a tube originally cylindrical, which collapses in drying. On 
placing a few of the fibres of the *' dead cotton" under the microscope, 
Mr. Crum found them to consist of very thin and transparent blades, 
some of which are spotted, while others are so clear as to be almost 
invisible. These fibres are readily distinguished from those of ordi- 
nary cotton by their perfect flatness, and their uniform as well as 
great transparency. They are of\en broader, show numerous folds, 
but are never twisted into the corkscrew form of the ordinary fibre. 
We must suppose that these fiat fibres, like the healthy unripe cotton 
fibre, were originally tubes filled with liquid, but that the seed around 
which they began to grow had died while they were yet soft and 
pliable, and that the fiattening was caused by the pressure from the 
mcreasing crop of cotton attached to the numerous other seeds confin- 
ed in the same pod. The fact of the existence of such fibres in cloth 
has a considerable bearing upon the disputed point, whether cotton- 
wool and coloring matters form together a true chemical compound, 
or are held together by a merely mechanical power, and is a strong 
argument in 6vor of the latter view. 


At the meeting of the British Association in September, 1849, Sir 
David Brewster exhibited several specimens of printed calico which 
had been rendered incombustible, by immersion in a solution of phos- 
phate of magnesia. When inflamed it soon went out without the 
fire spreading. Sir David Brewster stated that a spark or red 
eoai would not ignite it. 


In the use of indigo for dyeing, as it is insoluble in most menstrua, 
a preliminary process is necessary to bring it into the proper state for 
use. This is now eiSected by exposing it to the action of bodies hav- . 
ing a superior affinity for oxygen, or by mixing it with some organic 
matter containing sugar, mucilage, and other fermentable materials, 
or by subjecting it to the solvent power of sulphuric acid. When 
fermentable materials are used, wood and bran of wheat are com- 
monly employed, but within a short time a patent has been taken out 
for substituting as the fermenting material the young shoots of the 
common carrot and of the parsnip prepared in the following manner. 
To prepare a vat, take of the stems and leavo« of the common pars- 


nip OT carrot 4,480 pounds, and pass them thronsfh a erashio^ ma- 
chine, or otherwise reduce them to a high degree of pulverization, 
and throw them into a heap upon a suitable' floor in a warm room, 
stirring the mass once a day for three weeks, or until fermentation 
has taken place throughout the whole. Next add a pint and a half 
of alkali (or of a combination of fifteen parts of lime to one of sal* 
ammoniac) to every two hundred pounds. of the material, and thor- 
oughly incorporate it with it, stirring it over occasionally until the 
acid fermentation has become neutralized. The compound is then fit 
for use, but improves by age. — Patent' Office Report for 1848. 


Rbinsck tried various modes of determining the goodness of indi- 
go, ^but none of them gave results to be relied on till *' at last," he 
says, **I resorted to fuming sulphuric acid, and obtained the most 
satisfactory results. It is necessary, however, that the indigo should 
be pounded very fine, and the acid should be as concentrated as pos- 
sible. The mode in which I proceed is as follows : — One tenth of a 
gram of each sample of indigo is well pounded, mixed with four 
or dwe drops of fuming sulphuric acid, and rubbed with it till the 
whole forms a brown uniform mass. To this one gradf of sulphuric 
acid is added, and triturated till it produces a clear green solution, 
whereupon another gram of fuming sulphuric acid is added ; lastly, 
this solution is gradually mixed with ten grams of water. Two 
glass cylinders of equal width and length are now divided each into 
twenty equal parts, and one gram of the sulphuric solution poured 
into one and mixed with water, till the solution is of a light blue col- 
or and transparent ; if one gram of the solution does not produce 
sufficient coloration, a small quantity more of it is added, till the cyl- 
inder is filled with the light blue solution. I generally commence 
with the apparently best indigo. After this, the second cylinder is 
filled in the same way with an equal quantity of the same indigo 
sample and water, in order to see whether the two solutions are 
equal in color. If the case, one of the cylinders is emptied, 
and an equal quantity of sulphuric acid solution of an inferior sample 
poured into it, and gradually diluted with water, till the solutions in 
both cylinders are perfectly alike in color. Care must be taken to 
have both solutions of exactly the same hue, and as soon as this is 
accomplished, the quantity of water which has been poured into the 
second cylinder is examined. Supposing now that one gram of sul- 
phuric acid solution has been employed in both of the cylinders, but the 
quantity of water which produced the equal color was in the first or 
standard cylinder twenty parts, and in the second only fifteen parts, 
then the sample of which the latter solution was made will contain 
one quarter less of coloring matter. For some reason the Java indi- 
go and that chemically prepared by treating it with acid, caustic pot- 
ash, &c., do not give the desired results, and I therefore used Ben- 
gal, first quality, which excelled all others in coloring capacity, and 
contained at least fifty per cent pure coloring matter. 


** I have jet to add some observationa with regard to an adultera- 
tion practiaed on the indigo. Each large indigo-chest contains a 
quantity of dust, which is said to amount sometimes to eight or ten 
pounds. This dust is an artificial product, composed of starch, or 
white lead, and powdered indigo, a' d is pot in the chest in order to 
increase its weight. The finest Bengal indigo is to be preferred to 
the finest Java at the same price, but Bengal No. 8 is nearly as good 
as No. 1, and its price is one third less, while Bengal No. 3 is sold 
at half the price of No. 1, but is worth as dyeing material only one 
third as much." — Jahrbuch f&r PralUische Pharmacie, 


The detection of small quantities of iodine is one of the most dif> 
ficult processes in chemistry, and any new and accurate mode will be 
at once welcomed. We find in the Journal de Chimie Midkale for 
September, a process by M. Thorel. It is a modified manner of 
using starch. Put into a small phial 50 or 60 grams of the suspected 
liquor, or if it be a solid body, diffuse it in a small quantity of 
water ; add six drops of pure nitric acid and as much hydro-chloric 
acid ; a smallq)iece of paper is then to be covered with a rather liquid 
preparation of starch, and placed at the mouth of the phial, which is 
to be heated. If the liquor contains iodine, the paper will assume a 
violet-blue tinge, of greater or less intensity. The nitric acid seta 
the iodine free by decomposing the iodides, if any exist ; the efiTect 
of the hydro-chloric acid is, that it is substituted for the iodine by 
decomposing the iodate. If the paper should not become colored at 
the moment of ebullition, the same quantity of the two acids should 
be added, shaking the phial strongly. In an instant the spots should 
appear, and the stratum of iodine will gradually increase. It must 
not be immediately concluded that no iodine is present, if no color 
appeara, for it is separated with difiiculty from ^ome bodies, such aa 
molasses. In such cases a second operation must be performed, 
adding to the liquor 10 to 20 centigrams of tartrate of potash dis- 
solved in a small proportion of water. Heat is to be applied an in- 
stant before the addition of the acids, which, on this occasion, may be 
used in the proportion of 8 to 10 drops of nitric acid, and 4 drops of 
hydro-chloric acid. After this trial an opinion may be arrived at 
with great certainty, as exceedingly minute quantities of iodine are 
thus detected. 


We find in the Comptes Rendus for January, 1849, an interesting 
paper by M. Millon on a new test for albumen. He says that the 
highly acid liquid obtained by dissolving mercury in its own weight 
of nitric acid constitutes an extremely' delicate reagent for albumen 
and albuminous compounds. This mercurial solution communicates 
to albuminous substances an intensely red color, by means of which 


a very minate portion of albumen in water may be detected* To 
give an idea of the delicacy of this reagent, and to show its applica- 
bility to the study of vegetable organization, it may be stated that 
starch and gum acquire by its action a very distinct rose-color. 
Urine almost always becomes of a rose tint after the nitro-mercurial 
solution has been mixed with it, and the mixture been warmed. The 
albumen of the blood, that of plants and fibrine, gluten, legomine, 
silk, wool, feathers, born, epidermis, and gelatine are equally affected. 
This mercurial solution is most readily prepared by dissolving mer- 
cury in its weight of nitric acid in the cold. When reaction has 
ceased, a gentle heat may be applied to facilitate the solution of 
metal. When the solution is complete, the liquid should be diluted 
with two parts of distilled water by measure, and after some hours 
the liquid is to be decanted from any mixed crystals of nitrate and 
nitrite of mercury which may subside. This reagent acts on albu- 
minous substances at low temperatures, but not so completely as at 
a temperature of from 140^ to 150<=^ Fahrenheit, and it is even pref- 
erable to continue the application of heat to the boiling point. The 
prolonged action of the reagent in excess does not alter the red mat- 
ter, as has been ascertained by the contact of albumen with this so- 
lution for over a year. According to M. Millon, this singular prop- 
erty of giving a pink or red color to albuminous substances resides 
neither in the nitrate nor in the nitrite of mercury, nor in their mix- 
ture. It is necessary that there should be hyponitrous acid in the so- 
lution which contains the two salts. The pure pernitrate of mercury 
saturated with hyponitrous acid forms a delicate reasreot, but inferior 
to that of a saturated solution of the mixed salts. One or two drops 
of this solution are sufficient for the detection of albumen, which has 
been thus detected in the liquid of cholera when nitric acid and heat 
have failed to demonstrate its presence. 


The Journal of the Franklin Institute translates from the Comptes 
Rendus of January 22 the following '* Method of Determining the 
Quantity of Phosphoric Acids in Soils by Means of a Normal 
Liquor." This method is based, first, upon the property possessed 
by solutions of potassa and soda of transforming, at a boiling tem- 
perature, insoluble phosphates into the soluble phosphates of these 
bases ; and secondly, upon the property possessed by nitrate of silver 
of precipitating these phosphates, by forming a phosphate of silver, 
which is the more easily and clearly deposited, as the precipitation is 
more nearly complete, which allows the moment when the reaction has 
ceased to be readily determined. The following is the manner of oper- 
ating. The phosphoric acid of the compound to be examined having 
been precipitated in an insoluble form, a known weight of these insolu- 
ble salts is boiled with four times its weight of carbonate of soda, dis- 
solved in from eight to ten times its bulk of distilled water. The liquid 
is filtered to separate the insoluble carbonates and other salts, and the 


filter twiee washed with boiling distilled water. The filtered liquids 
are then well mixed and divided into two exactly equal portions, 
which are separately introduced into two sma 1 matrasses. To 
these liquids is then added, little by little, a test liquid so made that 
each cubic inch represents a known quantity of nitrate of silver. 
After every addition the liquid is to be shaken, and the additions are 
continued until when left at rest it becomes clear, and this will only 
take place when the saturation is perfect. The proper precautions 
must of coarse be taken to prevent precipitating the chlorides and 
sulphates with the phosphates. The phosphate of silver can always 
be reconverted, so that the expense of the operation is very small. 


A RECENT chemical journal contains the records of a series of in- 
teresting experiments on the necessary inorganic constituents of the 
oat plant. Single grains were sown in pure charcoal, prepared from 
sugar, contained in little tin vessels lined with wax. Without the 
addition of any thing to the charcoal a plant was obtained, but it was 
very small and sickly. Ammonia salts alone produced a plant of a 
lively green color, but still small and weak ; increase of these salts 
in a second and third experiment killed the plant. A mixture com- 
posed of silicate of potash, carbonate, sulphate, and phosphate of 
lime, produced a plant of double the size. On adding to this mix- 
ture an ammonia salt, the weight of the plant was quadruple that of 
the last, but still weak for wantof iran, as another experiment proved. 
On the addition of oxide of iron to the mixture, a much finer plant 
was obtained, but withered spots appeared on its leaves. In another 
case, where the salts of the last experiment were supplied, with the 
addition of a little carbonate of magnesia, no such appearance was 
observed, and the plant was, besides, in all respects materially im- 
proved. It was ascertained further, that soda could not be substituted 
for potash, nor magnesia for lime, without injury to the plant. Many 
other experiments with the omission of individual constituents were 
made, from which it was inferred what are essentials and what are 
not. The conclusion from the whole investigation was, that silicic, 
phosphoric, and sulphuric acids, potash, lime, magnesia, iron, and 
manganese, are essential constituents of the oat plant. — John A, 
Porter^ Albany Cultivator, 


Professor Lewis C. Beck has been for some time engaged in 
making investigations into the chemical constituents of the bread- 
stuffs of the United States, and he has embodied the results obtained, 
as far as relates to ilour and wheat, in a report which is published 
with that of the Patent-Office. His object was to ascertain how the 
intrinsic value of the various breadstuffs may be determined, their in- 
jury guarded against, and their adulterations detected. 


The qaantity of water in wheat and flour is greater in cold conn- 
tries than in warm ones, as there is not so much heat in the former to 
dry it out in ripening. In Alsace there is ordinarily from 16 to 20 per 
cent, of water ; in England, from 14 to 19 per cent. ; in the United 
States, from 13 to 14 per cent. ; and in Africa and Sicily, from 9 to 
1 1 per cent. 

It has been ascertained without doubt, that the real value of wheat 
and other breadstufls depends mainly upon the proportion of gluten 
and albumen which they contain, their starch, glucose, and dextrine, 
or gum, not being considered nutritious. Wheat exceeds all the other 
cereals in the quantity of nutritive matter which it contains. South- 
em wheat generally contains a larger portion of gluten than that from 
more northern countries. 

Another important point connected with wheat and wheat flour is 
the proportion of water or moisture which they contain. To secure 
their keeping, the proportion of water must be reduced from 8 to 10 
per cent. Southern flour usually contains less moisture than the 
Northern. There is less moisture in Southern wheat than in North- 
ern, consequently the flour from Southern wheat will absorb more wa- 
ter and make more bread than that from Northern. The gain in fa- 
vor of Alabama flour, as compared with that from Cincinnati, is stated 
to be 30 per cent. The proportion of water in the wheat and wheat 
flour of the United States is generally less than in those of England, 
France, and the North of Europe. These are important facts for 
dealers and consumers. 

The presence of water in wheat and wheat flour causes it 'Co sour 
and become musty. This might be obviated by paying more attention 
to drying and ventilation. The total amount of loss for the whole 
United States, arising from chemical changes in breadstuff's by inter- 
na] moisture, has been estimated at from $3,000,000 to $5,000,000 
annually. To remedy this great evil, the grain should be well ripened 
before harvesting, and well dried before being stored. Kiln-drying is, 
says The Plough, Loom, and Anvil, preferable. The mode of ascer- 
taining the amount of water is as follows. Take, say five ounces, and 
weigh it carefully ; then place it in a dry vessel, which should be 
heated by boiling water. After six or seven hours, weigh it careful- 
ly, and the difference shows the original amount of water. 

According to a statement made by a quartermaster in the United 
States army, one barrel of flour, or 196 pounds, when in dough, con- 
tains about 11 gallons, or 90 pounds, of water, 2 gallons of yeast, and 
3 pounds of salt, making a mass of 305 pounds, which evaporates, in 
kneading and baking, about 40 pounds, leaving in bread about 265 
pounds ; the bread thus exceeding in weight the flour employed by 
about 33.50 per cent. 

Fine flour contains a less proportion of nutritive matter than the 
whole meal (Graham flour) , but such is the controlling influence of 
custom, that it is perhaps in vain to attempt a change, even though its 
benefits may be clearly proved by the researches of science, and by an 
extensive experience. 
The constituents of flour, according to chemical investigations, are 



water, glnten, starch, glacose, dextrine, &c. Gluten is an adhesive, 
pasty mass, and consists of several different principles, though what 
these are has not yet been satisfactorily determined. Professor Beck 
analyzed specimens from different mills, and j?ives the result. The 
amount of gluten varies, in these specimens, from 7.00 to 14.25 la 
100 parts. The following analysis of wheat flour, from Port Byron, 
N. Y., will show the relative proportion of the various principles in 
flour : — 

Water 13.00 

Gluten 12.00 

Starch •.••■•• 67.60 

Glucose, dextrine, &c 6.80 


Professor B. analyzed some flour from Kubanka wheat, imported 
from Odessa, and found it to contain 15.25 per cent, of gluten, which 
exceeds the amount in any specimen of United States flour. 

Professor Beck, in the course of his report, also mentions many 
other interesting facts, which he has either observed himself, or col- 
lected from various sources. To show the advantage of drying the 
wheat properly, he states that in Poland, where the ventilation and 
drying are continued for some time, wheat has been preserved sound 
and good for half a century ; its age never does it injury, and such 
wheat yields handsomer and better flour than that obtained from the 
erain more recently harvested.' In Dantzic the preparation for keep- 
mg wheat continues for a year, and even longer, after which it is of- 
ten kept for seven years in the large granaries of that place, perfectly 

One of the best methods of determining the real value of wheat 
and other flours is to examine the bread made from them. The pro- 
cess of making brings out all their defects, and thus affords a good 
standard of comparison of the various kinds. But it should be re- 
membered that bread is oflen adulterated for the verypurpose of ena- 
bling^the manufacturer to use poorer kinds of flour. Thus in Belgium 
and Trance blue vitriol is often introduced into the dough, so that not 
only poorer flour can be employ e'd, but less labor is required, and a 
larger quantity of water is absorbed. Alum also answers the same 
purpose. The alkaline carbonates, the carbonate of magnesia, chalk, 
pipe-clay, and plaster of Paris, have all been used, either to correct 
the acidity of damaged flour, to preserve the moisture, or to increase 
the weight and whiteness of the bread. All these substances, except, 
perhaps, the alkaline carbonates in small quantities, render the bread 
unwholesome. Potato starch, buckwheat, rice, &c., are oflen mixed 
with wheat flour. 

Professor Beck recommends Mr. J. R. Stafford's process for drying 
grain, by which '* the grain or flour is brought into contact with a sur- 
face of metal heated by steam, and a due degree of ventilation, so im- 
portant to the completion of the drying, is secured. As the heat is not 
raised above that of boiling water, there is no danger of injuring the 
quality, color, or flavor of the substances subjected to its action. The 


heat is uniform, and the expense is said to be less than that of the mode 
of drying heretofore generally adopted. By Mr. Stafibrd^s apparatus, 
16 or 17 pounds of water are expelled from each barrel of flour, which 
reduces the proportion of water to 4 or 5 per cent., an amount too small 
to be productive of injury. Absolute dryness cannot be easily at- 
tained, except by a long exposure of the flour to the heat, and it is not 
necessary for its preservation, a reduction of the water to a small per- 
centage answering all purposes." Professor Beck says, — *' I cannot, 
in my opinion, render a more important service to dealers in bread- 
stuffs, than to recommend strongly the employment of this or a similar 
process of drying." 


In a recent letter. Professor Silliman, Jr., advocates the use of car- 
bonate of soda instead of yeast in making bread. He says, — "I 
have paid some attention to the method of making bread by carbonate 
of soda and muriatic acid, and have eaten with pleasure of bread so 
made. The result of the mixture of these materials in the proper pro- 
portions of flour, is to set at liberty such a quantity of carbonic acid 
gas as is necessary to thoroughly raise the bread on the instant in the 
process of baking. The salt formed by the union of the alkali with 
the acid is just sufllcient to flavor the bread pleasantly, and no objec- 
tion can rest against the process when properly conducted. The or- 
dinary mode of kneading dough with yeast is vastly more laborious 
and difficult in every respect than the quick process. The yeast em- 
ployed in fermentation is objectionable as being a substance far ad- 
vanced in decomposition, and noi always free from an unpleasant acid- 
ity, which it imparts oftentimes to the bread made from it, although 
in a degree which may not make it unsalable. The process of fer- 
mentation is carried on in the dough at the expense, first, of a certain 
amount of sugar which is present in all good flour, and when this is 
all converted into gas, then the starch of the flour is attacked, until 
the progress of change is arrested by the oven. The loss of weight 
sustain^ by the flour in the usual fermentative process is all saved by 
the quick mode. There is a certain breaking up of the starch globules 
by the fermentation, and probably also a change in the consistency of 
the glutinous part of the flour, which makes fermented bread peculiar- 
ly tender and friable, which is an advantage that may be fully com- 
pensated in the quick bread by longer baking. I am informed that 
bread made by the quick process requires a much more considerable 
time in the oven than fermented bread." 


M. Bklloe stated to the Academy of Sciences, of Paris, at their 
meeting on January 15th, that he had obtained perfectly white and 
tasteless starch from the horsechestnut, by simple washing in cold wa- 
ter and decantation. With rough apparatus he obtained irom 19 to 21 
per cent, of starch from the pulp of the fruit, while a comparative ex- 


periment gave him bat about 18 per cent. Bat on Janaary 2dd, M. 
Flaadin called the attention of the Academy to the fact, that the speci- 
mens presented by M. Belloe still retained a perceptible bitter taste, 
and exhibited another specimen obtained by him, by washing with car- 
bonate of soda, which was entirely devoid of taste. — Journal of 
Franklin Institute^ May, 



Thb sample is sifted, and 2 grams of the finest floar mixed with 
4 grams of nitric acid in a test-tube, and well stirred with a glass rod. 
After this, add 60 grams of water, and then 2 grams of carbonate of 
potassa dissolved in 8 grams of water. When no Indian corn is pres- 
ent, as soon as the carbonic acid has escaped only yellowish flakes sep- 
arate ; but when any admixture has been made, some orange-yellow 
particles subside, which are easily detected. In this way an admixture 
of from 4 to 5 per cent, of Indian com with wheaten flour may be de- 
tected. — Journ, de Chim. Med. 


A NEW method of increasing the quantity of cream prodaoed from 
milk, and of preserving milk, has been discovered in Belgium. The 
invention consists, first, in a method of increasing the quantity of 
cream produced from milk, by the addition of one table-spoonful of 
the liquid hereafter described to every quart of new milk ; the 
milk is then stirred and left in the pan or vessel ; the skimnung may 
take place at the expiration of the usual time, but it is better to wait 
a little while. By the application of the liqaid a much larger quan- 
tity of cream is forced to the surface of the milk than can be obtained 
in the ordinary way. The liquid is prepared by adding to one quar^ 
of water one ounce of the carbonate of soda, one teaspooofiil of a so- 
lution of turmeric or curcuma, and three drops of marigold-water. The 
soda is first mixed with the water, and then the other ingredients are 
added. It is the soda and water which form the basis of the dis- 
covery, the others being only used to improve the color and quality of 
the butter, and are not necessary to effect the increase of the cream. 

The second part of the discovery consists in the following method 
of preserving milk. '* One table-spoonful of a solution of soda, made 
by dissolving one ounce of carbonate of soda in a quart of water, is 
introduced into a quart bottle nearly filled with new milk. The bot- 
tle is then corked, the cork being securely fastened, and the bottles 
are put into a copper or other vessel containing cold water, which is to 
be gradually brought to the boiling point, after which the bottles must 
remain in the water till cool, when they may be packed away.'* If 
this discovery is really new and efiicacious, it is an important one ; 
at any rate it can easily be tested. 

In connection with this subject a German periodical gives the follow- 
ing method of testing milk. '* Put into a saucer one tenth of an ounce 


of puWerized gypeum, and pour over it half an oanoe of the milk to 
be examined. As soon as this mizture becomes warm, the milk is de- 
composed, when the butter and cheese attach themselves to the gyp- 
sum, so that we can let it boil freely without danger of losing any 
portion of the solid substances. When the contents of the saucer 
have reached a doughy consistency, which occurs in fifteen minutes, 
the heat must be diminished. The paste should then be dried, a 
vapor-bath being the best way, when the paste is soon changed into 
a grained powder ; having ascertained by weighing, at short intervals, 
that the water has disappeared, we find the proportion of solid ele- 
ments in the milk by noting the difierence in weight between the 
saucer now, and when empty. If we desire to find also the quantity 
of fatty matter which is contained in the solid residuum, we have 
only to extract the powder in it by means of sulphuric ether, and the 
loss of weight thus occasioned gives the quantity of fat which is con- 
tained in the milk. On an average, pure milk contains from 10 to 13 
per cent, of fatty matter, though this is often reduced one half by adul- 
teration." — Condensed from the Patent- Office Report for 1848. 


The following improved method of preserving milk has been dis- 
covered and patented by M. F. H. Louis. The milk is to be mixed 
with well-clarified raw sugar, four ounces to the gallon. It is then to 
be evaporated with agitation. When nearly solid, it must be pressed 
into cakes of suitable size. Steam may be used for the evapora- 
tion ; or, if time is no object, spontaneous evaporation in very shal- 
low pans, with the fluid not more than one tenth of an inch in depth, 
or a drying chamber may be used, the temperature not to exceed 1220 
Fahr. The cakes remain sweet and fresh for a long time, and are 
soluble in warm water. Another process is,«to heat the sweetened 
milk nearly to the boiling point, and, before it becomes cold, to curdle 
it by rennet or a weak acid. The curd is separated from the whey, 
and by strong pressure, after washing in cold water, it is obtained free 
from adhering water. The whey is to be evaporated to dryness. The 
curd, placed over a slow fire, is continually stirred, and the dried 
whey added very gradually, with a small portion of bicarbonate of 
soda. After a while, the ingredients melt and unite. A small 
quantity of finely pulverized gum dragon, hastens the solidification. 
Cream may be preserved by the same methods. — Chemical Gazette. 


Thi Westminster Revieto for October contains some extracts from 
a recent pamphlet, entitled " A Word or Two on Port Wine." 

The author of the pamphlet in question, Mr. Joseph James For- 
rester, thus explains his object in the publication of his pamphlet : — 
The qualities of port wane most prized have been different at different 
periods. Sometimes dryness and astringency, sometimes fruitiness and 
smoothness, — • at one time, great delicacy, and at another, fulness,— 



have been sought for. Each of these qualities is consistent with purity ; 
but naturally J according to the kind of grape, the soil, height, and as- 
pect of the vineyard where it is grown, will the wine have one or mora 
of these qualities, in a greater or less degree, as the season is good or 
bad. One would imagine, that, from among these varieties, the most 
fastidious might select a pure wine to suit his palate, and so no doubt 
he would if he were fairly treated ; but unfortunately, for a considera^ 
ble time past, the practice of the wine-merchants has been to disre- 
gard all the circumstances just mentioned, and to try to produce in all 
seasons, wet or dry, cold or hot, from grapes in every variety of sit- 
uation, and of all qualities, wines of one and the same kind only, viz., 
what is called by some, *'full, high-colored, and fruity," but by others, 
mure properly, *^ black, strong, and sweet.'* The taste which has 
gradually led to this state of things probably was good, and occasioned 
by an extraordinarily fine vintage, such as that of 1820, when all the 
wines were naturally unusually full, sweet, and high-flavored. The 
merchants, finding these wines much sought for, insisted upon having 
the like at all times ; and as such wines could seldom be obtained 
pure, seasons so fine being extremely rare, recourse was had to adul- 
teration to produce something like it, and the struggle among many 
of the exporters was to send wine, each fuller, sweeter, and higher- 
colored than that of his neighbour. In this practice they were en- 
couraged by petty innkeepers, retail dealers, and others, who found it 
answered their purpose admirably. A portion of such wine mixed 
with Benecarlo, or other harsh inferior red wine, enabled the whole 
to be passed ofi" as port. In negus, it is plain the use of it would 
cause a saving of all the ingredients except water ; and to palates 
hardened by the use of strong or coarse liquors, it would probably be 
more acceptable than wine of the highest flavor. Persons of these 
kinds, therefore, continued to call for blacky strongs and sweety until, at 
length, the attempt to imitate a really fine wine has degenerated 
into such a system, that* of the '* port" sent to England, a very 
large portion hardly deserves to be called wine at all, and still less 
port wine. 

Mr. Forrester then gives the following description of the process of 
manufacturing the black draught, which has for some time past receiv- 
ed in England the name of port wine. To produce black, strong, and 
sxoeet wine, the following are the expedients resorted to. The 
grapes, being flung into the open stone vat indiscriminately, on the 
stalks, sound and unsound, are trodden by men till they are complete- 
ly mashed, and then left to ferment. When the wine is about half 
fermented, it is transferred from the vat to tonels, and brandy (several 
degrees above proof) is thrown in, in the proportion of twelve to 
twenty-four gallons to the pipe of must, by which the fermentation is 
greatly checked. About two months afterwards, this mixture is col- 
ored thus : a quantity of dried elderberries is put into coarse bags ; 
these are placed in vats, and a part of the wine to be colored being 
thrown over them, they are trodden by men, till the whole of the 
coloring matter is expressed, when the husks are thrown away. The 
dye thus formed is applied according to the fancy of the owner ; 


from 98 to 56Ib8. of the dried elderberry being used to the pipe of 
wine. Another addition of brandy, of from four to six gallons to 
the pipe, is now made to the mixture, which is then allowed to rest 
for about two months. 

At the end of this time it is, if sold, transferred to Oporto, where 
it is racked two or three times, and receives two gallons more of 
brandy per pipe ; and it is then considered fit to be shipped to Eng- 
land, it being about nine months old; and at the time of shipment, 
one gallon more of brandy is usually added to each pipe. The wine, 
thus having received at least 26 gallons of brandy per pipe, is con- 
sidered by the merchant sufficiently strong, — an opinion which the 
writer, at least, is not prepared to dispute. 

This is one way. Another way is this. The finer sorts of 
grapes are selected of several kinds, those which are decayed or un- 
ripe being removed. They are then trodden, as in the preceding case, 
but the fermentation is allowed to proceed three fourths of the full 
time proper for it. The wine is then transferred to the tonele, where 
it receives from six to ten gallons of brandy, of the same strength as 
that before mentioned, per pipe. About two months afterwards it is 
drawn off into other tonels, and each pipe receives about six additional 
gallons of brandy, and from six to eighteen gallons of jeropiga. The 
wine is then sent to Oporto, where the future treatment proceeds as 
in the first case, except that it receives there, on the whole, five, in- 
stead of two, gallons more of brandy. Of the port shipped for the 
English market as " vintage wine," that is from nine months to two 
years old, at least two thirds is made in one or other of the ways just 
mentioned. It may be well here to observe, that the practice of send- 
ing these new wines is any thing but advantageous to the consumer. 
Port wines of this age are too astringent to be offered to him pure ; 
but by the use of sweetening and other ingredients, they are rendered 
softer to the palate, and acquire a false appearance of maturity, and 
thus the inexperienced are deceived. Of the remaining third of the 
wine which goes to England, only a very small portion is without a 
considerable admixture of jeropiga. Some is made from an indis- 
criminate mixture of grapes, and some from grapes carefully selected 
and culled ; but each kind has the advantage of being fully fermented, 
and also that of remaining without jeropiga till that fermentation has 
ceased. This is the best kind of the adulterated wines ; but still it 
has not received less than 25 gallons of strong brandy. 

The coloring matter of the grapes, produced by a complete fer- 
mentation on the husk, varies in intensity according to the character 
of the grape, but imparts no sinell to the wine. This color varies 
from a pale rose to a bright purple (never deeper, except where souzao 
is used), is perfectly transparent, and mellows with age ; the rose be- 
comes tawny, and the purple ruby, — both of which colors are dura- 
ble. The deepest of the artificial coloring matters, or dyes, at present 
used, is elderberry. It is employed indiscriminately with any and 
every quality of grape, and imparts a disagreeable medicine-like smell 
wherever it is used. It gives at first a dull, very dark purple hue, 
like dirty ink, to the wine ; and, in course of time, changes to a brick 


color, or falls altogether, until the wine assumes its original imperfect 

We do not wish to ' horrify ' any one ; hut those who take a pint 
of such port as we have reprobated may be assured that they take 
nearly as much alcohol as is contained in the same quantity of cherry 
brandy. Let us examine the matter a little. A pipe of wine con- 
tains 21 almudes. We have shown before that the average quantity of 
brandy in a pipe of the port wine brought to this country is 4 almudes; 
the pipe, therefore, contains 17 almudes of what is called wine, and 
4 almudes of adventitious brandy. We have also seen that 8 pipes 
of the commonest and weakest wine will yield 1 pipe of brandy ; 
therefore, 17 almudes of fully fermented wine will yield 2 1 almudes 
of brandy. But supposing that, the fermentation of the 17 almudes 
having been checked, they are equal in strength to the 13 almudes of 
wine properly so called, then they will yield, if distilled, If almudes 
of brandy. But this brandy is of the strength of 10 degrees of Tessa, 
or 26 per cent, above proof, whereas the spirit used in making cherry 
brandy is about 17 per cent, below proof, or more than 43 per cent, 
below the strength of the brandy in the pipe ; therefore, the 5| al- 
mudes of brandy which the pipe contains of 10 degrees of Tessa, are 

equal to 7if almudes of the spirit used in making cherry brandy, 
consequently the pipe contains more than one third of spirit, 17 per 
cent, below proof! Any gentleman may ascertaiii from his house- 
keeper the proportion of brandy used in making cherry brandy. 

A vigorous effort is now, however, making to do away with this 
wholesale adulteration. 


At a meeting of the New York Academy of Medicine, June, 1849, 
an elaborate report was presented by Dr. M. J. Bailey, on the prac- 
tical operation of the law prohibiting the importation of adulterated 
and spurious drugs, medicines, &c 

The report states, that since the law took effect, July, 1848, over 
90,0001bs. of drugs of various kinds have been rejected and con- 
demned in the ports of the United States. Of these, 34,0001bs. were 
included under the comprehensive title of Peruvian bark, 16,3431bs. 
rhubarb root, ll,7071bs. jalap root, about 2,0001bs. senna, and about 
15,000lbs. of other drugs. The agitation of the bill which preceded 
the passage of the law had its effect abroad, and the supply of adul- 
terated drugs from foreign markets has greatly decreased. The do- 
mestic supply has, on the contrary, increased. Within a recent 
period, quinine in considerable quantities has been found in the mar^ 
ket, adulterated to the extent of some twenty or twenty-five per cent. 
These frauds were undoubtedly (lerpetrated by or among our own 
people. The material used for the adulteration of the quinine was 
found, on analysis, to be mannite and sulphate of barytes, in nearly 
equal weights. The latter article has long been used for this pur- 
. pose, but not until lately has manniteheen detected in the sulphate of 
quinine. It seems to have been ingeniously substituted for salicinei 


aod a somewhat similar sabstance prepared from the poplar bark ; 
which articles have heretofore been extensively used for like purposes. 
The ingenuity consists in the fact, that it is much more difficult to 
detect the adulterations when effected by the admixture of mannite^ 
than when by the admixture of salicine, &c., while the former can be 
furnislied for less than one fourth of the expense of the latter. 

For some years past an extensive chemical establishment has been 
in operation at Brussels, in Belgium, built up at great expense and 
care, and expressly designed for the manufacture, on a large scale, of 
imitations of all the most important foreign chemical preparations used 
in medicine ; while, at the same time, an agent was travelling in this 
country making sales, and soliciting orders in all the principal towns 
on our seaboard. The articles were prepared and put up with con- 
summate skill and neatness ; and the imitation was so perfect that it 
was impossible for the unsuspecting purchaser to distinguish them 
from the genuine, notwithstanding that in some instances they did 
not contain over five per cent, of the substance represented by the 
label. Since the law went into effect, at the port of New York, not 
a single package has been presented for entry. Dr. Bailey states, 
however, that he has been informed that the persons formerly con- 
nected with the Brussels firm are now in this country engaged in the 
same iniquitous business ; hence the adulterations spoken of. 


The following account of the valerianate of morphia, a new medi- 
cine, was communicated to the American Association by Dr. M. 
Wyman and Professor Horsford. 

*' It is well known to the physician that opium, besides procuring 
sleep, allaying or entirely removing pain, and suspending the mucous 
secretions, also produces other and undesirable effects, which materi- 
ally diminish its usefulness. Various attempts have been made to 
prevent these effects, at first by using different solvents of the drug, 
and, afterwards, by separating the morphia from the other substances 
with which it is combined ; usually, on account of the greater solu- 
bility of these salts, in the form of a sulphate*, a muriate, or an ace- 
tate. Although the objectionable properties of opium are diminished 
with most persons when taken in these forms, still there are some 
who suffer as much from the one as the other. Neither is it known 
that the acids in the salts just mentioned have any medicinal influence 
in themselves when so combined, or that they materially change the 
action of the morphia ; although it is so well known that the theja- 
peutic effects of opium are very materially changed by being mixed 
or combined with other drugs. With the view of obviating these 
objections. Prof Horsford, at the suggestion of Dr. Wyman, has pre- 
pared a new salt, known as valerianate of morphia. The valerianic 
acid was made by the oxidation of fusil oil, — one of the incidental 
products of fermentation in the manufacture df alcohol. This oxida- 
tion was effected by means of bichromate of potassa and sulphuric 
acid. The acid distilled from the solution was converted into valeri* 


anate of baryta, and this salt, by doable decomposition with sulphate 
of morphia, was resolved into sulphate of baryta, which fell as an 
insoluble powder, and valerianate of morphia, which, after filtration 
and concentration, crystallized in beautiful forms of great trans- 

'* The effects of this new medicine are as follows : — In smalt doses 
it is found to produce more quiet sleep, and to be equally efficacious 
in removing pain with its equivalent in crude opium, or the salts of 
morphia. In a case of violent nervous excitement it acted most favor- 
ably, producing quiet and sleep after other preparations had failed. 
It has been given in a few cases in which, from constitutional pecu- 
liarity, a feverish state ensues, with watchfulness and starting instead 
of sleep, or quiet reverie. In these the sleep was not continuous, but 
the intervals of wakefulness were shorter, and the general frame of 
mind more calm. The subsequent effects, headache, nausea, and 
vomiting, were decidedly less than afler an equivalent of the other 
preparations. In full doses, also, the subsequent effects are less. In 
dysentery this has been observed in a marked degree. The doses 
were from one third to half a grain, repeated from eight to ten times 
in twenty-four hours. The secretions were lessened, the evacuations 
controlled, and the pain removed, with less headache, nausea, and 
vomiting. The dose is about one fourth that of crude opium ; it is 
most conveniently given in the form of a pill." 

The valerianate of morphia has now come into general use, both 
in this country and in Europe. In England its discovery has been 
claimed as having originated there. 


This body, which may be procured to any extent by the distillation 
of coal-tar, or light naphtha, promises to be of so great utility in the 
arts as to encourage a belief that it will soon form a special object 
of manufacture and commerce. It is a limpid, colorless liquid, of an 
agreeable ethereal odor. It dissolves many substances with extreme 
readiness and in large* quantities, such as the various resins, mastic, 
camphor, wax, putty, and essential oils, caoutchouc, and gutta-percha. 
Its volatility gives to its solution of either of the two latter substances 
the useful property of drying rapidly and perfectly ; so that, when 
spread upon glass or any polished surface, a film of the gum is de- 
posited, which may be readily pealed off in the form of a tough mem- 
brane of any required degree of tenuity, and possessing all the prop- 
erties of the original material. The same solutions, varnished on 
the skin, form admirable artificial cuticles, which have been found 
useful in cures of wounds and burns, and might probably be very 
beneficial in some skin diseases. It dissolves gamboge in small 
quantity, and shell-lac even more sparingly ; but it will mix in equal 
bulks with a saturated solution of lac in wood-spirit or alcohol. This 
property may be valuable to varnish-makers. Copal and anime yield 
but slightly to the solvent power of this fluid ; but its vapor in the 
act of condensation rapidly dissolves these resins ; so that, if frag- 


men to of them be suspended in the head of a vessel in which the 
hydrocarbon is boiling, the vapor, as it condenses on their surfaces, 
softens and dissolves them, and trickles back into the vessel below, in 
which a colorless varnish will result, more or less concentrated ac- 
cording to the duration of the process. Benzole dissolves quinine, 
depositing it on evaporation in a crystalline form ; the condensing va- 
por dissolves the alkaloid, especially if not recently precipitated, more 
readily than the boiling liquid. It dissolves iodine, phosphorus, and 
sulphur ; and, when boiling, takes up the latter in large quantity, of 
which, however, the greater part crystallizes out as the fluid cools. 
It has been found extremely useful in the laboratory as a solvent in 
researches in organic chemistry, where the high price and almost too 
great volatility of ether render a substitute for that agent a great 
desideratum. The facility with which the vapor of benzole is taken 
up and retained by the air at its ordinary temperatures, has been 
taken advantage of in an apparatus for illumination, with great suc- 
cess ; in this a stream of it is made to pass through a reservoir of the 
volatile hydrocarbon, and afterwards conducted to burners, at which, 
being ignited like coal-gas, it yields a light of extreme brilliancy and 
whiteness. The property possessed by alcohol, of burning with an 
almost lightless flame, so opposite to that of the highly carbonized 
benzole, renders it easy, by properly adjusting a mixture of the vola- 
tile oil with the spirit, to obtain a fluid which shall be readily vapor- 
ized and shall yield a flame of any require<f degree of whiteness. 
Thus, a mixture of one part by measure of benzole, and two parts of 
spirit of specific gravity about 0.840, forms an excellent fuel for a 
portable gas-lamp, which supplies itself with vapor by the heat which 
it generates in combustion. Any excess of spirit diminishes the lumi- 
nosity of the flame, while too much of the benzole causes a tendency 
to smoke. — Chemical Gazette* 


At the meeting of the Institution of Civil Engineers in London, 
on April 17, Mr. C. B. Mansfield read a paper '* On an Application of 
certain Liquid Hydro-carbons to Artificial Illumination." The sys- 
tem proposed consists in conducting a stream of almost any gas, or 
ev n of atmospheric air, through a reservoir charged with benzole (a 
liquid hydro-carbon procured from coal-tar), or some other equally 
volatile hydro-carbon ; the gas or air being then conducted like com- 
mon gas to the burners. It was stated that this system is applicable 
on any scale, from the dimensions of town gas-works to the compass 
of a table-lamp. In an apparatus exhibited, a small gas-holder, filled 
by a pair of bellows, supplied common air through pipes. The gases 
formed by passing steam over red-hot coke would answer well for 
this purpose, and it would depend on local circumstances whether this 
mode of generating the current would be preferable to the expendi- 
ture of the mechanical force necessary for driving atmospheric air 
through the pipes. By decomposing water with the voltaic battery, 
liaphthalizing the hydrogen with benzole, and burning it with the aid 


of the equWalently freed oxygen, a simple light of intense power may 
be obtained. This system was shown to be a great simplification of 
the ordinary system of gas-lighting, as no retorts, metres, &c., are 
required, and the products of combustion are as pure as those fn>m 
the finest wax. It is expected that the elegance of the material and 
the simplicity of the apparatus will cause its introduction into build- 
ings and rooms where coal-gas is not now considered admissible. 
Tboagh this liquid does not require to be heated above the average 
temperature of the air, yet it is liable to be cooled by its own evapora- 
tion, so as to require an artificial supply of warmth, which is obtained 
by causing a small let of flame of the gas itself to play upon the reser- 
voir, and by a simple contrivance the temperature is made self-regu- 
lating, so that it never rises above nor falls below a proper degree. 
If atmospheric air is used as the vehicle for the vapor, the jet-holes in 
the burner must be slightly larger than those for coal-gas. Some 
burners were exhibited, contrived for the purpose of accurately ad- 
justing the size^of the orifice to the quantity of gas escaping; by 
moving a part of the burner, they were made to give any required 
quality of flame from lightless blue to smoky, the medium point fur- 
nishing the greatest brilliancy. A gallon of benzole of the requisite 
purity will cost about 56 cents, and to this must be added the ex- 
pense of the air-current and the interest on the original outlay , which 
at the most would raise the cost to about 90 cents for the consump- 
tion of a gallon of benzole. One ounce of the liquid will give a light 
equal to four wax candles for an hour ; or one gallon for about 120 
hours. It is inferred that a gallon of this material is equivalent to 
about 1,000 cubic feet of coal-gas. A gallon of benzole weighs but 
71bs,, while the coal necessary to produce the same amount of coal-gaa 
weighs SOOlbs. at least, giving an advantage of 38 to 1 over coal, 
where the mines are at any considerable distance. 


The results of some important investigations with reference to burn- 
ing fluids have been communicated by Prof. Horsford to the Ameri- 
can Academy. *' It has been maintained by many that several of the 
various preparations under the general denomination of burning fluids 
are, in certain conditions, explosive. It has been asserted by vend- 
ers, on the other hand, that they are not explosive. Wherein 
the misapprehension lies, how the numerous accidents that have occur- 
red in the use of burning fluid are to be explained, and by what pre- 
cautions the repetition of these accidents may be prevented, have been 
subjects of experimental inquiry. The burning fluids as a class are 
rectified spirits of turpentine, or turpentine with an admixture of a 
small percentage of highly rectified spirits of wine, or of some other 
inflammable body readily soluble in turpentine or alcohol. Turpen- 
tine, alcohol, and ether, when fired in an open vessel, bum at the sur- 
face so long as a supply of oxygen is kept up. The accidents with 
burning fluids have oi^inarily occurred during the filling of lamps from 
the cans, and always in the presence of flame, from a burning lamp 


or other Ewurce. In these facts lies the explanation of the phenomena 
that have been observed. 

*' The general principle, that a mixture of a highly combastible gas 
with oxygen or atmospheric air is explosive, suggested the idea, that, in 
the chamber above the burning-fluid in the flask from which the lamps 
are filled, there might be an admixture of the vapor of the burning- 
fluid in such proportion with atmospheric air as to make it susceptible 
of explosion. To test the value of this suggestion, experiments were 
made with alcohol by directing a current of air into the upper part of 
a loosely stoppered laboratory glass spirit-lamp, while burning, caus- 
ing thereby a mixture of alcohol-vapor and air to rush past the 
flame. After a moment or two the jet took fire, and was instanta- 
neously followed by explosion. This result was invariaUe. After 
permitting a drop of alcohol in a large glass flask with a small neck 
to evaporate for a moment, and applying flame to the mouth, explo- 
sion resulted generally, but not invariably. Ether similarly treated 
yielded less uniform results, because probably of the greater difliculty 
in obtaining the proper mixture of the vapor of ether and air. A 
variety of burning-fluid in extensive use, said by the venders not to 
explode, was subjected to similar experiments, with still less frequent 
affirmative results. They were, however, suflicient to show that ex- 
plosions with them are possible. Similar experiments have been made 
with another variety of burning-fluid by Dr. M. Wyman, with like 
results. It is, then, conceivable, that, when the proper relative amounts 
of burning-fluid vapor and atmospheric air -are mixed together, as 
they may be in the upper part of a partially filled can or receiver, and 
a flame is brought sufficiently near, explosion must result. If the 
quantity of mixed gases be large, the explosion may cause the de^ 
struction of the containing vessel, or, if that remain entire, it may 
drive out a portion of the fluid, which, taking fire, may cause more or 
less injury. The course of safety has been pointed out by the dealers 
in these articles for illumination. It is to fill the lamps (the tops of 
which are without special air-holes and which screw on) in the absence 
qfjlame, by daylight, for example, in which case no explosion can 

^* Similar accidents to the above have taken place in the use of 
the so-called air-tight stoves for burning wood. After the wood Jias 
been fired, and the supply of air for some time shut off, on reopening 
the draft, and sometimes even without^ occasionally explosions of 
great violence have occurred, attended with the blowing ofi* of the 
door, and, in some instances, producing still greater injuries to the 
stove. The probable explanation is this. After firing the wood and 
shutting olS* the draft, destructive distillation commences and inflam- 
mable gases issue from the wood, which, mingling with air derived 
from the pipe or remaining still unconsumed, furnish an explosive 
mixture, which the first jet of flame, or perhaps the incandescent coal, 
causes to explode. As these accidents are not of frequent occurrence, 
it may be found that the probability of producing inflammable gases 
in the required quantity is less with some varieties of wood than with 




A VERY interesting experiment has recently been tried in Paris be- 
fore several distiuguished members of the Academy of Sciences. 
The fact to be demonstrated was, that, by the decomposition of grape- 
skins and the lees of wine in a close vessel, a carburetted hydrogen 
gas would be disengaged, of such a superior quality as to lead to the 
supposition that it could be used in the place of the gas ordinarily 
obtained from coal and resin. A pound of dried grape-skins, placed 
in a white-hot retort, furnished, in less than seven minutes, three hun- 
dred and fifty quarts of excellent carburetted hydrogen gas. The gas 
burns with a brUliant white flame, is without odor, and emits little smoke 
in comparison with that produced from pit-coal and resin. An experi- 
ment with the dried dregs of wine was equally satisfactory. 


We learn that Mr. Frankland, who has for some time been pursu- 
ing his chemical studies in the laboratory of Prof. Bunsen, of Mar- 
burg, has discovered ethyle, the base of ether. The isolation of this 
interesting base will doubtless tend to the elucidation of many involv- 
ed questions connected with the phenomena of etherification ; and 
it must consequently prove of great interest to all chemists. — Lon- 
don Athenaumj June, 

The radicals methyl and amyl, since the date of the above, have 
been isolated by the same chemist. — Editors, 



We extract from an English paper some interesting facts with refer- 
ence to the extinction of fires in coal-mines by means of carbonic 
acid. The authority for the statements is the proprietor of the Ast- 
ley collieries, where the experiment was tried with complete success. 

When a fire is discovered in a mine, it is usual to close all the open- 
ings, so as to prevent any access to the atmosphere, and if this does 
not extinguish the flames, water is then introduced into the mine. It 
is found impossible to seal up all the openings so closely as to extin- 
guish the fire, as is shown in the case of Lord Bradford's collieries, at 
Bolton, and those of the Earl of Ellesmere, at Worsley, which, have 
been on fire for the last two years. The fire at the Astley collieries 
broke out with great violence, and the proprietor being unwilling to 
lose so much time and to flood his mines wrote to Mr. Gurney, the 
author of a plan for ventilating mines by means of high-pressure 
steam, inquiring if he could suggest any plan for the speedy extin- 
guishment of the flames. Mr. Gurney proceeded at once to Astley, 
and after some investigation suggested that the mine should be filled 
with carbonic acid, azote, or some other extinguishing and incombusti- 
ble gas,' but it was objected that the expense necessary to procure 
enough of the gas to fill a mine containing three miles of passages 
would be inmiense. Mr. Gurney, however, obtained permission to 


build a small brick furnace, four feet square, at a safe distance from the 
down-cast shaft. The ash-pit was made entirely tight, except that it 
had an iron cylinder thirteen inches in diameter connected with it, 
which terminated at an elbow under water in a tank partly filled. 
With the upper part of this tank above the surface of the water an- 
other pipe was connected and carried into the shaft leading down into 
the mine. A powerful steam jet was made to work between the fur- 
nace and the tank, which drew the air down through the fire and 
forced it through the water, while a second jet was placed in the cyl- 
inder at the top of the down-cast shaft, and made to draw the choke- 
damp from the tank and force it into the pit. It should be mentioned, 
that this choke-damp was the product of the combustion of coal as- 
sisted by a little charcoal and lime, through which the air was passed 
by the contrivance described, and thus was deprived of its oxygen, 
and the azote set free. At the up-cast shaft or outlet upwards, cor- 
responding to the down-cast shaft already mentioned, a third jet was 
placed in a cylinder and made to exhaust from the shaft beneath, so as 
to assist the other or compressing jets and draw the choke-damp 
through the galleries between them. All having been arranged, the 
apparatus was put in operation, and in order to test the choke-damp 
and see if it was perfectly formed, burning tow moistened with turpen- 
tine was placed in it, and was found to be immediately extinguished. 
This experiment, therefore, was so far perfectly satisfactory. The 
jets were kept in action, and at the expiration of two hours fire-damp 
disappeared from the shafts, and at the up-cast shaft a slight cloudy 
appearance was observed in the air which escaped, and this had the 
sulphureous smell of choke. This indicated that the choke-damp had 
passed entirely through the mine, but in order to prove it satisfactorily 
the draughts were shut off for a short time, and, a safety-lamp being 
placed in the upcast cylinder, it was immediately extinguished, prov- 
ing the presence of the choke-damp in considerable quantities. Dur- 
ing the two hours, six thousand cubic feet of the damp had been forced 
into the mine every minute. After being allowed to remain closed 
for some hours longer, the connection with the furnace was broken, 
and fresh air was driven through the same jets, which forced out all 
the choke-damp in about two hours. The mine was then regarded as 
perfectly safe, and several men descended the down-cast shaft three 
hundred and ninety feet, to the tunnel leading to the working, and all 
was found clear. The exhausting jet having been kept up all night, 
the next day some of the men passed through the workings and found 
all safe. The fire was entirely extinguished, and the action of the 
single jet was found to produce a more powerful current than could be 
done in any other way. The experiment was therefore perfectly sat- 
isfactory, but the steam-jet is still kept in operation to ventilate the 
mine, which it does so effectually, that there is no need of safety- 
lamps, and the men are working by naked candles. It will be seen 
that by this means a great saving of time is effected in the extinguish- 
ment of those fires to which all collieries are so liable, as, instead of 
the months or years required for sealing up, flooding, and pumping 
out again, only two days are necessary to extinguish the most violent 
fire, and this, too, at a very trifling expense. 


A modification of this plan ii proposed for extiDgnishing fires in 
ships. It is proposed to fill with chaUc or hroken marble several flat 
yessels, which are to be distributed in the lowest part of the ship, and 
near them are to be placed vessels containing muriatic acid, which are 
connected with other vessels of carbonate of lime by vidved pipes. 
These valves must be furnished with strong wires leading to the deck. 
As soon as the fire shows itself, all ports and means of communication 
with the open air must be stopped. The valves may then be opened 
by means of the wires, and the acid will flow upon the carbonate of 
lime, producing large quantities of carbonic acid. This gas, being 
heavier than common air, will displace it, and the whole ship will be 
filled with it, so that all combustion will be at once extinguished. 


By the Comptes Rendus we learn that M . Despretz has commenced 
a series of experiments on the fusion and volatiUzation of various re* 
fractory substances. As one of his first results, he announces the 
fusion and volatilization of carbon. He used a battery of 496 ele- 
ments in four parallel series. Carbon from sugar in an '^ ceuf elee- 
trique " was subjected to its action ; a high degree of incandescence 
was produced, and the globe was covered with a black powder, dry 
and crystalline. After many precautions to test the reality of the re- 
sult, and various changes in the mode of experiment, Despretz satis- 
fied himself that the effect was owing to a volatilization of the carbon. 
In one case, when the carbon reached a white heat, some white traces 
were deposited on the sides of the vase ; then suddenly it was reduced 
to a state of vapor, with nearly the appearance which iodine presents 
when a fingment is cast on a heated body. The glass was lustrous 
with the crystalline sublimate. This result failed with less than 496 
elements. Experiment has further shown that carbon is best fused into 
globules in nitrogen under a pressure above the ordinary atmospheric 
pressure. Glass vessels break so easily that metallic must be used. 

The source from which we copy the above, Silliman's Journal, 
states that the fusion and volatilization of carbon was long since 
announced (as early as 1833) by Prof. Silliman, while ^e con- 
densation of carbon upon the inner surface of a globe has been a 
frequent class experiment with Prof. S., and has been customarily 
mentioned in his lectures as a case of vaporization. The battery used 
consists of 900 pairs, being one of the largest ever constructed ; but 
Prof. Silliman, Jr., has shown that the same result may be obtained 
by a Bunsen's battery of 60 pairs. Prof Silliman has also melted 
various other refractory substances, which had never before been 
fused, and in due time we shall probably learn that Despretz has suc- 
ceeded in doing the same. This is not the first time that Prof. Silli- 
man has far preceded the chemists of the Old World. 



M. P. H. BouTiGNY states in the Comptes Rendus, that, his atten- 
tion having been turned to the *' spheroidal state of bodies," he sus- 


pected that this would account for many of the wonderful feats de- 
scribed, such as walking barefooted across liquid metal, plunging the 
hand into molten lead, &c. His object, then, was to find out some 
one who had seen or performed these or similar feats, and after some 
trouble he finally learned from M. Michel, who lives in a district of 
France where there are many forges, that he had not only seen a 
workman pass his fingers through an incandescent jet of fluid metal, 
but had himself performed the experiment. 

Encouraged by this announcement, he proceeded to make some 
experiments himself. He says, — *'I divided or cut with my hand 
a jet of melted metal of five centimetres, which escaped by the tap. 
I immediately plunged the other hand into a pot filled with incandes- 
cent metal, which was truly fearful to look at. I involuntarily shud- 
dered, but both hands came out of the ordeal victorious." After 
some further unimportant remarks, he observes, — ** I shall of course 
be asked what are the precautions necessary to prevent the disorgan- 
izing action of the incandescent mass? I answer none. Have no 
fear, make the experiment with confidence, pass the hand rapidly, 
but not too much so, in the metal in full fusion. If the experiment 
were performed with fear, or with too great rapidity, the repulsive 
force which exists in incandescent bodies might be overcome, and 
thus the contact with the skin be efi^ected, so that harm and pain 
would result. To form a conception of the danger and pain there 
would be in thus passing the hand too rapidly into the metal infusion, 
it will suffice to recollect that the resistance is proportionate to the 
square of the velocity, and in so compact a fluid as liquid iron, this 
resistance increases, certainly, in a higher ratio. The experiment 
succeeds especially when the skin is humid ; and the involuntary 
dread which one feels at facing these masses of fire almost always 
puts the body into that state of moisture so necessary for success ; 
but by taking some precautions, one becomes veritably invulnerable. 
The following is what has succeeded best with me ; I rub my hands 
with soap, so as to give them a polished surface ; then, at the mo- 
ment of making the experiment, I dip my hand into a cold solution 
of sal-ammoniac saturated with sulphuric acid, or simply into water 
containing some sal-ammoniac, and in default of that, into fresh 

In explaining the theory of these extraordinary results, M. Bou- 
tigny says, — ^* I think that I have established, a long time ago, the 
fact that water in the spheroidal state has the property of reflecting 
radiating heat, and that its temperature never attains that of its ebul- 
lition; whence it follows, that the finger or the hand, being humid, 
cannot rise to the temperature' of 100^ Centigrade, the experiment 
not continuing long enough to permit the humidity to evaporate en- 
tirely. Indeed, there is no contact between the hand and the metal ; 
this, in my estimation, is a fact positively established. If there is 
no contact, the heating can only take place by radiation ; this is enor- 
mous, it must be acknowledged, but if the radiation is annulled by 
reflection, and it is so, it is as if it did not exist. To recapitulate 



what I hare stated ; in patring the hand into any metal in fbsiont it 
becomes isolated ; the humidity which covers it passes into the sphe- 
roidal state, reflects the radiating: caloric, and does not become heated 
enough to boil. This is all with reference to the spheroidal theory. 
I have often repeated the experiments with lead, bronce, &c." 

In a later number of the CompUs Bendus^ M. Boatigny detaila 
some further experiments. 

** I moistened with water my forefinger, which I plunged into a 
bath of lead, when I experienced the same feeling of warmth which 
water gires in a spheroidal state. When I used alcohol for mois- 
tening my finger, the effect was the same ; but when ether was used 
there was no sensation of heat, but, on the contrary, an agreeable feel- 
ing of coolness. I have repeated this experiment several times, and 
do not hesitate to declare that it is perfectly harmless, and that the 
most delicate female could do the same, not only without the least 
danger, but without the slightest inconvenienee. But the finger 
should be plunged in as soon as it is moistened, and when the metal 
is perfectly liquid. It should be mentioned, that the portions of the 
hand which are not immerged in the fused metal, but are exposed to 
the action of the heat radiated from its surface, experience a painful 
sensation of heat." M. Boutigny then details some experiments by 
which he thinks that he proves that *' bodies in a spheroidal state are 
surrounded by an atmosphere whose molecules are connected in such 
a way that it may be compared to a solid transparent envelop, of an 
infinitely small thickness and possessing very great elasticity." 


Every molecular change in the condition of matter is almost invar 
riably connected with the evolution or absorption of heat, and the 
quantity of heat thus set free or absorbed bears always a definite re- 
lation to the amount of the mechanical or chemical action. To as- 
certain this relation has been the object of my investigations, and 
the following are a few of my principal results. 1. The solution of 
a salt in water is always accompanied by an absorption of heat. 
9. If equal weights of the same salt be dissolved in succession in the 
same liquid, the heat absorbed will be less on each new addition of 
salt. 3. The heat absorbed by the solution of a salt in water hold- 
ing other salts dissolved is generally less than that absorbed by its 
solution in water. 4. The heat absorbed by the solution of a salt in 
the dilute mineral acids is generally greater than that absorbed by its 
solution in water. In reference to the combination of acids and 
bases, the heat developed during the union is determined by the 
base, and not by the acid. An equivalent of the same base com- 
bined with different acids produces nearly the same quantity of heat. 
When a neutral salt is converted into an acid salt by combining with 
one or more equivalents of acids, no disengagement of heat occurs. 
When a double salt is formed by the union of two neutral salts, the 
same is the case, but when a neutral salt is converted into a basic 


salt, there is a disengagement of heat When eolations of two neu- 
tral salts are mixed, and a precipitate formed from their mutual de- 
composition, there is always a disengagement of heat, which, though 
small, is perfectly definite in amount. The diamond disengages 
7,834 units of heat during its combustion in oxygen gas, in the form 
of graphite, 7,778 units, and in that of wood charcoal, 8,080. — Dr. 
Andrews bejfare the British Association at Birmingham, 


The following extracts are taken from a very important investiga- 
tion by Prof E. N. Horsford, of Cambridge, published in the Pro- 
ceedings of the American Academy for 1849. The researches were 
undertaken at the request of the Board of Consolting Physicians of 
the City of Boston, and must be considered as conclusive. in regard 
to the lonsr-agitated qaestion concerning the action of lead on wa- 
ter : — '* The waters used by man, in the various forms of beverage 
and for culinary purposes, are of two classes, via.: — 1. Open waters, 
derived from rain-falls and surface-drainage, like ponds, lakes, riv- 
ers, and some springs ; and 3. Waters concealed from sunlight, and 
supplied by lixiviation through soils or rock, or both, of greater or 
less depth, such as wells and certain springs. 

"They differ, (a) in temperature ; well-water, through a large part 
of the year, is colder than lake, pond, or river water ; — (b) in the per- 
centage of gases in solution ; recently drawn welNwater, in summer 
particularly, parts with a quantity of air upon exposure to the sur- 
face temperature. In winter these relationships must to some extent 
be inverted, in high latitudes for a longer, and in lower latitudes for 
a shorter period, (c) They differ in the percentage of inorganic 
matter in solution ; well-waters contain more ; — (d) in the relative 
proportions of salts in solution ; well-waters contain more nitrates and 
chlorides ;— and (e) in the percentage of organic matter ; well-waters 
contain less. 

" Relations of Lead to Air and Water, — {a) Lead is not ox- 
idated in dry air, or {b) in pore water deprived of air. (c) It is 
oxidated in water, other things being equal, in general proportion 
to the amount of uncombined oxygen in solution, {d) When pres- 
ent in sufficient quantity, nitrates in neutral waters are to some ex- 
tent reduced by lead, {e) Both nitrates and chlorides promote the 
solution of some coats formed on lead. {/) Organic matter influ- 
ences the action of water upon lead. If insoluble, it impairs the 
action by facilitating the escape of air ; if soluble, by consuming the 
oxygen in solution, and by reducing the nitrates when present. The 
green plants, so called, and animalcule which evolve oxygen, are 
abundant in open waters in warm weather only, and of course when 
the capacity of water to retain air in solution is lowest; so that, al- 
though oxygen is produced in open waters by these microscopic or- 
ganisms, it does not increase tW vigor of their action upon lead. 
{g) Hyd rated peroxide of iron (iron-rust) in water is not reduced by 


lead. Hence may be inferred the freedom from corrosion of leaden 
pipes connected with iron mains, so far as the reduction of the pnl- 
yerulent peroxide of iron may influence it. (h) Alkaline chlorides 
in natural waters deprived of air do not corrode lead, (i) Salts, 
generally, impair the action of waters upon lead, by lessening their 
solvent power for air, or for other salts. 

** A coat of greater or less permeability forms in all natural waters 
to which lead is exposed. The first coat (j) is a simple suboxide 
absolutely insoluble in water, and solutions of salts generally. This 
becomes converted in some waters into a higher oxide, and this high- 
er oxide, uniting with water and carbonic acid, forms a coat (k) solu- 
ble in from 7,000 to 10,000 times its weight of pure water. The 
above oxide unites with sulphuric and other acids, which sometinies 
enter into the constitution of the coat k; uniting with organic matter 
and iron-rust, it forms another coat (/) which is in the highest de- 
gree protective. The perfection of this coat, and of the first above 
mentioned, may be inferred from the small quantity of lead found in 
Croton water (New York), after an exposure in pipes of from twelve 
to thirty-six hours, and from the absence of an appreciable quantity in 
Fairmount water (Philadelphia), after an exposure of thirty-six 
hours, when concentrated to one two-hundredth of its bulk." 


We find in Poggendorff*s Annalen an analysis of a quantity of 
water from the Dead Sea, procured near the north end, not far from 
the mouth of the Jordan. The water contains : — 

Chloride of Calcium 2.894 

'* Magnesium .... 10.543 

." Potassium . . . . . 1.398 

" Sodium * 6.678 

" Aluminum 0.018 

Bromid of Magnesium 0.251 

Sulphate of Lime 0.088 

Silica 0.003 



Since the discovery^of arsenic in the deposits from certain chalyb- 
eate springs, it has been asked whether the poisonous properties of 
this substance are not neutralized by the state in whicn it is found. 
M. Lassaigne has finished a series of experiments connected with this 
subject, for the purpose of ascertaining the proportion of arsenic con- 
tained, in what state of combination itj exists, and the nature of the 
action which these arseniferous deposits exert on the animal economy. 
The following are M. Lassaigne's conclusions : — 1 . In the natural de- 
posits of the mineral waters of Wattviller, arsenic exists to the amount 
of 2.8 per cent. 2. A portion of these deposits, representing 1.76gr. 
of arsenic add, or 1.14gr. of arsenic, produced no efifect upon the 


health of a dog. 3. This non-action Aovm that the poisonons prop- 
erty of the arsenic is destroyed by its combination with peroxide of 
iron, and thus confirms what has been before asserted, that peroxide of 
iron, by combining with arsenious and arsenic acid, destroys their poi- 
sonous properties, and consequently becomes an antidote for them. -— 
Joum. de CMm. Mid,, September. 


Dr. G. Wilson has communicated to the British Association an 
article ** On the Presence of Fluorine in the Waters of the Frith of 
Forth, the Frith of Clyde, and the German Ocean." In 1846 Dr. Wil- 
son first announced the discoyery of fluorine as a new element of sea- 
water. His mode of detecting it is to take the mother-liquor or bittern 
from the pans of salt-works, which deriye their water from the sea, 
which he precipitates by nitrate of baryta. This precipitate, having 
been washed and dried, is warmed with oil of vitriol in a lead basin, 
covered with wax having designs on it, which in two hours were etched 
as deeply as they could have been by fluor spar treated in the same 
way. Till the present year, however. Dr. Wilson had only examined 
water from the Frith of Forth, but he has now pursued his experi- 
ments, and finds that the indications of fluorine are much less distinct 
in the Frith of Clyde than on the east coast, but he easily detected it 
in the crust collected in the boilers of steam-vessels. This crust con- 
sists in a great measure of sulphate and carbonate of lime, and car- 
bonate of magnesia, but there is also chloride of sodium and other 
salts. By examining the deposit in boilers of steamers navigating the 
German Ocean, he has also there detected fluorine, and it may there- 
fore be inferred, that, as fluorine exists in these three localities, it ex- 
ists in sea-water generally, which is a conclusion to which others have 
previously been led by various circumstances. Dr. W. has also de- 
tected fluorine in the teeth of the walrus, which indicates its existence 
in the Arctic Ocean, and its invariable presence in the corals collected 
by the United States Exploring Expedition points to its existence in 
the Antarctic Ocean, while it has also been found in kelp from the 
Shetlands. — Atherueum, Sept, 15. 


Mr. J. Davy read before the Royal Society of London, at its meet- 
ing, June 14th, an interesting paper on the question, whether car- 
bonate of lime exists in all sea-water. The author has made several 
experiments upon the water of the ocean in crossing the Atlantic, 
which go to show that carbonate of lime is not widely diflftised through 
the ocean, but exists as an ingredient of sea-water near the land, and 
in other situations, where its presence is very easily accounted for, and 
where, in the economy of nature, it may be supposed to be useful. 
Mr. Davy has also made some trials on sea-water in relation to the 
sulphate of lime it contains, which is found to vary in quantity in dif- 


ferent ntofttioiM. He snggesto the propriety of fiirther inquiry upon 
this subject, as the results may be important in connection with steam- 
navigation, the injurious incrustation, which is liable to form in boilers 
at sea, being composed chiefly of this substance. — Brewster^ s Magor 
zine^ September, \ 


At a meeting of the American Academy, in January, 1849, Dr. 
Charles T. Jackson stated that he had discovered the presence of man- 

ganese in the water of streams, lakes, &c., almost universally. He 
ad detected it in water from the middle of Lake Superior, in Cochit- 
uate water, and in water from various sources. It has usually been 
regarded as iron in previous analyses. He considered the observation 
as having an important bearing in accounting for the deposits of bog 
manganese at the outlets of ponds, lakes, and in bogs, as well as for 
the source of the oxide ef manganese in the blood. 


The following facts relative to the presence of omnic matter in 
water were presented to the British Association, by Professor Forch- 
hammer, as the result of extended observations on the waters near 
Ck>penhagen. 1st. The quantity of organic matter in water is great- 
est in summer. 2d. It disappears, for the most part, as soon as the 
water freezes. 3d. Its quantity is diminished by rain. 4th. Its quan- 
tity is diminished if the water has to run a long way in open channels. 
The hypermanganate of potash or soda is recommended by the Pro- 
fessor as a most excellent test for the presence of organic matter in 
water. — Aihemeum^ Sept. 22. 


M. Grange has sent to the Paris Academy of Sciences a paper 
captaining the results of numerous analyses of waters from the talcose, 
anthraxiferous, and cretaceous formations of the valley of Is^re, in 
Switzerland. The investigations were made at the suggestion of M . 
Dumas, the celebrated French chemist, with a view of ascertaining 
the relative quantities of chlorides, sulphates, and carbonates con- 
tained in the waters from the glaciers down to the plains, and of 
comparing together the salts dissolved in the waters of the different 
formations. The locality, as has been stated, was the mountains in 
the valley of Isdre, some of which attain the height of 3,000 metres. 
The investigations show, — Ist. That the quantity of dissolved salts 
increases from the summit of the mountains towards the plain. 2d. 
That in the talcose and anthraxiferous formations, the chlorides of sodi- 
um and magnesium, and the sulphates of soda, lime, magnesia, and po- 
tassa, diminish relatively to the total mass of the salts as we descend 
from the summits, and form 25 to 30 per cent of the dissolved salts ; the 
sulphates forming from 24 to 31 per cent., and the carbonates from 36 
to 47 per cent. 3d. That in the anthraxiferous formations the sul- 


phates of soda, lime, and magnesia exist in greater quandties than in 
the talcose fonnation. 4th. That in the cretaceous formations the 
chlorides and sulphates diminish, and the carbonates of lime and mag- 
nesia increase. 

Having obtained these results, M. Grange says that he thus finds that 
magnesia exists to the amount of 10 to 15 per cent, of the total amount 
of tlie salts in the vi^aters of the villages and valleys where goitre and cre- 
tinism are endemic. In addition to his own observations, he has gath- 
ered from other sources proofs that, in Switzerland, Piedmont, the Vos- 
ges, Pyrenees, and all other places where the goitre and cretinism pre- 
vail, similar rocks exist, which would give rise to a similar quantity of 
magnesia in the water. '* It follows, then, that if the waters be, as is 
generally believed, the proximate cause of goitre and cretinism, we may- 
refer the deleterious action of the waters to the salts of magnesia, or 
perhaps to the presence of these and the absence of a sufficient quantity 
of lime for the wants of the animal economy." 

M. Billet has lately published a paper in confirmation of these views 
of M. Grange. He details many facts with great minuteness, tracing 
the goitre even to the water of particular springs in some villages. 
He also gives some statistics of goitre and cretinism. Among the 
176,000 inhabitants of the diocese of Chambery, 1,187 have one or 
both of these diseases. In the diocese of Maurienne the number is 
5,587, out of 63,156 inhabitants. Among the 1,187 diseased persons 
in the diocese of Chambery, there are 818 having goitre alone, 163 
cretinism alone, and 306 having both. In that of Maurienne, there 
are 4,010 cases of goitre alone, 396 of cretinism alone, and 1,281 of 
both united. Of the 818 persons in the diocese of Chambery who 
have goitre alone, there are 515 females and 303 males. In the dio- 
cese of Maurienne, 2,170 females to 1,840 males have the goitre alone. 
Thus females are clearly most liable to the goitre, and among other 
reasons given for this is the fact, that they drink more water and less 
wine than the males. The cretins are about equally divided between 
the two sexes, there being in Maurienne 785 females and 783 males. 
The goitre develops most between the ages of 8 and 15 years, and 
but few cases conmience at a later period. — Annales de Oiinde^ Vol. 
XXVI. p. 139. 


Wb find in the Journal de CMmie et de Pharmacie an article by M. 
Descbamps on the presence of copper in the human blood. The au- 
thor states that he came to the conclusion to reject all previous experi- 
ments, as being indecisive on account of the want of precision and 
care in making them, and he therefore commenced a series of careful 
observations. After considering the dififerent processes proposed for 
the detection of metallic substances in the blood, he adopted one anal- 
ogous to that which he employed to extract copper from vegetables. 
The acids and distilled water used contained no metallic substance 
whatever, the hydrochloric acid being prepared expressly for the pur- 
pose. The filters were made of paper, which was analyzed and found 
to contain no copper, and they were washed with concentrated nitric 


add, diluted with tn equal Toluine of distilled water. The capenles, 
crucibles, tubes, and all the instruments employed, were also washed 
with nitric acid. The blood was carefully evaporated to dryness in a 
porcelain capsule, and burnt in a crucible ; the ash was treated with 
nitric acid ; the solution was evaporated to get rid of the greater part 
of the acids, then treated with water, filtered into a bottle, subjected to 
the action of hydrosulphuric acid in a small porcelain capsule, treated 
with a few drops of aqua regia, and allowed to stand till the precipi- 
tate became of the oolor of sulphur. When analyzed, it had all the 
properties of a salt of copper. The author therefore thinks that the 
exbtenoe of copper in the blood cannot be questioned. 


In the Proceedings of the British Association we find an interest- 
ing report by Dr. Smith, on the air and water of towns. The author, 
after remarking on the general and well-founded belief that the air 
and water have a most important influence upon health, proceeds to 
examine all the sources from which the air and water of towns can be 
contaminated, and the changes which are caused by them. If air be 
passed through water, a certain amount of the organic matter poured 
off from the lungs is to be detected in it. By continuing this experi- 
ment for three months. Dr. Smith detected sulphuric acid, chlorine, 
and a substance resembling impure albumen. These substances are 
constantly being condensed upon cold bodies ; and in a warm atmos- 
phere the albuminous matter very soon putrefies and emits disagree- 
able odors. By oxidation this substance gives rise to carbonic acid, 
ammonia, sulphuretted hydrogen, and probably to other gases. By 
collecting the moisture of a crowded room by means of cold glasses, 
and also dew in the open air, it was found that the former was thick 
and oily, capable of decomposition and productive ^of animalcules, 
while the dew was beautifully clear and limpid. Large quantities of 
rain-water have been examined by Dr. Smith, and he says, ''I am 
now satisfied that dust even comes down with the purest rain, and 
that it is simply coal-ashes." The rain-water of Manchester is con- 
siderably harder than that from the neighbouring hills. This can 
only arise from the ingredients obtained in the town atmosphere ; but 
the most curious point is the fact, that organic matter is never absent, 
although the rain continues for several days. The state of the air is 
closely connected with that of the water ; what the air contains the 
water may absorb, and what the water has dissolved or absorbed, it 
may give out to the air. Dr. Smith has examined many wells in 
Manchester, and he finds nitrates in all of them ; in some they exist 
to a surprising extent, so that they are very nauseous. It was dis- 
covered that all organic matter in filtrating through the soil is very 
rapidly oxidized. The nitrates are also found in the London water j 
and prevent the formation of any vegetable matter, so that none can 
be detected, even by the microscope, after a long period. In sum- 
ming up the results obtained. Dr. Smith remarks, that the pollution 
of air in crowded rooms is really owing to organic matter, and not 


merely to carbonic add ; that all the water of large towns contains 
organic matter ; that water purifies itself from organic matter in 
various ways, but principally by converting into nitrates ; that water 
can never stand long with advantage, unless on a large scale, and 
should be used when collected, or as soon as filtered. 


*< Sir Francis Head, in his ' Emigrant,' has attributed the dura- 
bility of the Wenham Lake ice, or its power of resisting liquefaction, 
to the intense cold of a North American winter. It is perfectly true 
that this ice does not melt so fast as EngliBh ice, but the cause of 
this phenomenon is, I believe, very different from that assigned for it 
by the late Governor of Upper Canada. There can be no doubt, that 
where an intense frost gives rise to a great thickness of ice, permit- 
ting large cubic masses to be obtained after the superficial and porous 
ice has been planed off, a great advantage is afforded to the Ameri- 
can ice-merchant, and the low temperature acquired by the mass must 
prevent it from melting so readily when the hot season comes on, 
since it has first to be warmed up to 32^ Fahr., before it can begin 
to melt. Nevertheless, each fragment of ice, when removed-frora the 
store-house, very soon acquires the temperature of 32^ Fahr., and 
yet when a lump of Wenham ice has been brought to England, it 
does not melt by any^ means so readily as a similar lump of common 
English ice. Mr. Faraday tells me that Wenham Lake ice is ex- 
ceedingly pure, being both free from air-bubbles and from salts. The 
presence of the first makes it extremely difficult to succeed in making 
a lens of English ice, which will concentrate the solar rays and read- 
ily fire gunpowder, whereas nothing is easier than to perform this 
singular feat of igniting a combustible body by the aid of a frozen 
mass, if Wenham ice be employed. The absence of salts conduces 
grealJy to the permanence of the ice, for where water is so frozen 
that the salts expelled are still contained in air-cavities and cracks, or 
form thin films between the layers of ice, these entangled salts cause 
the ice to melt at a lower temperature than 32°, and the liquefied por- 
tions give rise to streams and currents within the body of the ice, 
which rapidly carry heat to the interior. The mass then goes on 
thawing within as well as without, and at temperatures below 32° ; 
whereas pure and compact Wenham Lake ice can only thaw at 32°, 
and only on the outside of the mass." — LyeWs Second Visit to the 
United StaUi. 


In a recent lecture at Sorbonne, M. Despretz attempted the conge- 
lation of alcohol, and to effect this he plunged into liquid protoxide of 
nitrogen a thin glass tube containing a small quantity -of alcohol. 
The whole was suspended in a small vessel, at the bottom of which 
was placed a paste, composed of solidified carbonic acid and ether, the 
concave cover of the vessel being also filled with the same paste. 


206 ArrNUAL of scibntifio discovert. 

The whole was then plaeed under the reeeiver of an aii^pnmp, and a 
▼acnum was formed. The alcohol soon acqaired a marked viscidity, 
and lost some part of its transparency. At a subsequent lecture, the 
experiment was repeated with an apparatus composed of two concen- 
tric cylinders, the interiors of which were filled with the above-men- 
tioned paste. The double cylinder inclosed on each side^ the tube 
containing the protoxide, and that containing the alcohol, and as be- 
fore the whole was submitted to the action of the air-pump. When 
the refrigerating substances were considered to have been almost 
volatilized, the tube containing the alcohol was drawn out, and placed 
in a horizontal position. The surface of the liquid remained for sev- 
eral moments perpendicular to the axis of the tube, after which the 
alcohol slowly regained its fluidity. M. Despretz considers that in 
both cases the upper layer of alcohol was solidified, and that the 
whole would have been had he continued the experiment a longer 
time. The want of a farther supply of the liquid protoxide prevented 
him from pursuing the investigations further. — Comptes Bendtu, Jan. 


D (J RING a recent meeting of the French Academy a discussion arose 
with reference to gun-cotton, which is reported at length in the 
Comptes Rendus^ from which we translate the substance of some re- 
marks by M. Morin. He stated that the very quality of great explo- 
siveness, which has been put forward as the chief recommendation of 
gun-cotton, is in reality a great fault, which has already caused many 
accidents. During the process of manufacture it cannot be raised to a 
very high temperature, without great danger of explosion, as has been 
proved in many cases ; and even when only slightly heated, it ex- 
plodes sometimes without any apparent reason. Gun-cotton cannot 
safely be raised to more than about one quarter of the temperature 
which powder will bear. In the using of the gun-cotton, also, much 
care must be exercised not to get the charge too large, and in reduc- 
ing its quantity the power is often too much decreased. By experi- 
ment it has been found that cannon burst with a charge of gun-cotton 
of about one fourth the quantity of powder necessary to burst them. 
Again, a gun can ordinarily be fired with a medium charge of powder 
from 25,000 to 30,000 times before it bursts, while even with a very 
small charge of the gun-cotton a gun rarely stands more than 500 dis- 
charges. All the means adopted to render the gun-cotton less ex- 
plosive have been unsuccessful, except where they have been attended 
with too great loss in the power. — Comptes Rendusy Jan, 22-29. 


The object of this invention is to cause the silver to be deposited 
from a solution of that metal upon glass in such a manner that a pre- 
cipitate of silver will adhere to it, without any previous coating hav- 
ing been applied. The mode of carrying out the invention is as fol- 
lows : — One ounce of ammonia, two of nitrate of silver, three of water, 


and three of spirit, are carefully mixed together, and allowed to stand 
for three or four hours, after which the mixture is filtered. To each 
ounce of the liquid is then added an ounce of saccharine matter (grape- 
sugar being preferred) , dissolved in equal portions of spirit and water, 
say about half a pint of each. This liquid may be used for depositing 
silver either upon horizontal or vertical surfaces, provided it is kept in 
contact with the glass, which must be kept heated to about 160° Fahr., 
until the deposit has been obtained. As soon as the silver on the 
glass is dry, it may be varnished with common mastic varnish to pre- 
serve it from injury. This invention may be employed for depositing 
silver upon looking-glasses and all other descriptions of glass. The 
process is not unhealthy, and there is not at any time a disagreeable 
smell. The coating of silver is very durable, and is capable of with- 
standing heat as well as damfp. — London Journal of Arts ^ July, 1849. 


Mr. H. Vohl, a member of the Paris Academy of Sciences, has 
discovered that a solution of gun-cotton in a caustic alkaline lye pos- 
sesses in a high degree the property of precipitating silver from its 
solutions in the metellic forms. If gun-cotton be placed in contact 
with a caustic alkaline lye of sufficient strength, the cotton dissolves, 
disengaging considerable heat and also ammonia, and furnishing a 
deep brown liquor, which, on the addition of an acid, gives rise to a 
brisK effervescence, with a disengagement of carbonic and nitrous acids. 
The manner in which the gun-cotton comports itself shows that it is 
not dissolved as such, but undergoes a decomposition, in which the' 
atoms of the oxygen in the nitric acid combine with an atom of the 
carbon of the cotton, and give rise to the carbonic acid, which, as well 
as the nitrous acid, combines with a portion of the potash. A new 
decomposition of the nitrous salt by the potash, in presence of sub- 
stances containing hydrogen, furnishes the ammonia. The following 
is the most remarkable property of this alkaline solution. If a few 
drops of nitrate of silver be added to the solution, with enough ammonia 
to redissolve the oxide of silver which is formed, and if heat be applied 
gently by means of a water-bath, a moment arrives when the liquid as- 
sumes a dark brown color, showing an effervescence, and then all the 
silver is precipitated on the sides of the wood containing the solution, 
as a polished mirror. This mirror surpasses in brilliancy that ob- 
tained by ethereal oils or ammoniacal aldehyde. It is found that also 
cane-sugar, milk-sugar, mannite, gums, and other substances which 
become explosive when treated with nitric acid, act in the same man- 
ner. Picroazotic acid, under the same circumstances, produces a 
bright metallic surface. It would seem that this reaction takes place 
with all bodies which do not furnish the products of oxidation when 
treated with nitric acid. 


At the meeting of the British Scientific Association at Birming- 
ham, the past summer, Mr. Rinman stated that phosphorus had been 


discoyered in Swedish iron, whenever it presented the peculiarity of 
what is technically termed **cold short." The process adopted was 
the following: — The pig-iron, weighing about three grams, and 
reduced to small pieces, was dissolved in diluted nitric acid, the solu- 
tion evaporated to dryness, the dry mass heated strongly with free ac* 
cess of air, in order to destroy all carbon. After heating, the dry 
mass was triturated and mingled with six times its weight of soda, a 
little chlorate of potassa, and a littie silica, and smelted as long as any 
gas was disengaged. The smelted mass was exhausted by boiling 
water, and digested for some hours. The solution was filtered, the 
undissolved residue washed with hot water, containing a small quanti- 
ty of chloride of ammonium. The solution was evaporated to dryness, 
and the dry mass treated with hydrochloric acid and dissolved in water. 
After filtration, the solution was neutralised, and the phosphate of 
lime was precipitated in a closed vessel by a solution of chloride of 
calcium with ammonia. Dr. Percy spoke of the importance of this 
inquiry, — particularly in such a district as Birmingham. He then 
instanced many of the peculiarities of the Staffordshire iron, which 
contains phosphorus ; and spoke of the peculiarity of the Berlin iron, 
which is so sin^larly fluid in casting, as being probably due to some 
such combination. Dr. Ronalds, Dr. Miller, and Mr. R. Phillips, 
confirmed the fact of the general presence of phosphorus in cast- 
iron. — At?ieiuBum, Sept. 15. 


The distinguished Prof. Oersted has discovered that a change takes 
place in mercury kept in hermetically-sealed glass vessels, bat that it 
IS very slow and not perceptible for years. He had observed it twen* 
ty years ago in a glass bulb. He first took up the subiect in 1828, 
experimenting with four bulbs, two of white and two of green glass, 
carefully weighed, in order to detect any portion of air that might be 
admitted through the pores or fissures of the glass. The weight, 
however, remained unaltered. In July, 1839, a small change was visi- 
ble. At first a feeble ring of yellow powder adhering to the glass 
was observed, where the mercury had been a long time in contact 
with it. And again, in a new place, under similar circumstances, a 
new ring was formed, and so on. The surface itself, upon which the 
mercury had rested some time, had a thin covering of yellow adherent 
powder. In the course of years the yellow powder became black, the 
mercury had lost a great deal of its fluidity, and it adhered slightiy to 
the glass. The order in which the two coloss follow each other indi- 
cates that they are not produced by oxidation. In the green bulbs no 
change was visible. In 1845, Prof. Oersted procured twelve bulbs, 
six of which should contain, beside the mercury, atmospheric air, the 
air of the other six being expelled by boiling mercury ; three of each 
series were white, and three green glasses. In July, 1847, there 
was no sensible change in the series, where air was mixed with the 
mercury, but in the other, where the air had been exhausted, change 
had taken place in all but one. Rarefaction of the air had no con- 


nectbn with the phenomena, hut the hoUing of the mercury seemed 
to have some iofluence on them. On analyzing the two powders, 
sulphur was detected. But as a yellow compound of mercury and 
sulphur contains oxygen, and as no oxygen was found in the hlack 
powder, it may be questioned whether the first compound takes oxy- 
gen from the air of the bulb, and returns it in passing to the state of 
the black one, or whether some hitherto unknown exchange takes 
place between the elements of the glass and the mercury. 


From a lecture before the Royal College of Chemistry, in London, 
by Dr. Sheridan Muspratt, on the manufacture of soda, we make the 
following extracts : — 

'* The present method of making soda from common salt (chloride 
of sodium) was discovered by Leblanc, a Frenchman, near the close 
of the last century. It was not, however, successfully introduced into 
England until the year 1820. Before the manufacture of this alka- 
li, two articles were used in its place, namely, Spanish barilla and 
kelp. The former contained about 18 per cent, of alkaline principle, 
and sold for JCII per ton, the latter about five or six percent., and 
cost £5 per ton. It is clear that out of 100 parts of these substances 
95 parts of kelp and 83 parts of barilla were loss, because they were 
of no service in the manufacture of soap. The introduction, there- 
fore, of so strong and cheap an alkali as soda would necessarily prove 
a great boon to the soap-maker ; but at the commencement it was very 
difficult for the soda-manufacturer to dissipate the prejudices in favor 
of kelp and barilla. As soon, however, as it was shown that soap 
could be alkalized for £2 per ton insteaid of £8, and that the opera- 
tion was performed in one third of the time, the soda immediately 
came into general demand, so that in less than twenty years from its 
first introduction the quantity of soda manufactured exceeded 72,000 
tons. Of this quantity one manu£icturer produced one ninth, and 
Liverpool exported as much soap as the whole of England had dona 
prior to the introduction of soda. 

'* But the change produced by the introduction of the manufacture 
of soda into England, as regards the traffic and importations of several 
articles, is still more curious, as shown by the following table : — 

Importations. 1824. 1847. lacnaae. Decrease. 

Pot and pearl ashes, 58,126 barrels. 19,644 barrels. 38,482 

Palm-oil, . . . 8,997 casks. 56,891 casks. 47,894 
Sulphur, .... 5,447 tons. 24,220 tons. 18,773 
Barilla, .... 5,722 tons. 

'* The quantity of soda exported from Liverpool alone to the United 
States, in the year 1847, was upwards of 8,000 tons. 

*' On viewing the above statistics, we find that the quantity of alkali 
shipped from one port is much greater than all the potashes imported 
into England. The import of sulphur has increased more than four- 
fold, and palm-oil six-fold, from 1824 to 1847 ; foreign barilla is en- 
tirely superseded. Although in this number of years the imports of 



Other srticies have increaaed, yet in no other artidea, except cotton 
and aoffar, haa there been any thing approaching auch augmentation. 
It is uao worthy of remark, that one ton of s^a ash goes as far as 
eight tons of kelp and three tons of barilla ; therefore, taking the 
charge now made for a ton of barilla and a ton of kelp, compared 
with that of soda, a saving has been ef^ted equivalent to Jb 1,500,000 : 
and taking the prices of these articles, previous to the introduction of 
soda, upwards of jC5,000,000 has been saved to England. There is 
another point in which this subject is of the highest importance. The 
great importation of palm oil from the Western Coast of Africa shows 
Jhe benefit of this manufacture. Slavery, which can never stand in the 
presence of commerce, must be thereby considerably checked. The 
alkali manu&cture is thus indirectly the minister of civilization, for by 
establishing a system of regulated industry among the African na- 
tions, it makes local labor valuable." 


Mr. Tiohlman, an ingenious American gentleman residing in Eng- 
land, discovered and patented, in 1847, a method of decomposing 
the alkaline salts by means of steam at high temperatures, and of pro- 
ducing salts of potassa from felspar. The invention consists in de- 
composing the sulphates and chlorides of the alkalies and alkaline 
earths, by exposing them at a high temperature to a current of steam, 
by which the acid is carried off, and the alkaline base either remains 
free, or enters into combination with some third substance provided 
for that purpose. The acid vapors passing off are condensed to form 
sulphuric and hydrochloric acids. To obtain potassa from felspar, 
the inventor heats together a potash felspar, with carbonate of lune, 
and the sulphate of lime, baryta, or strontia ; the mixture is after- 
wards lixiviated with water. It is estimated that these discoveries 
will effect a saving of nearly one half the expense in the manu&cture 
of soda and potash. The apparatus and the methods of Mr. Tighl- 
man have recently been introduced into the immense soda manufac- 
tories of Mr. Tennants, at Glasgow, Scotland, and have thus far prov- 
ed to be superior to any of the former processes. In 1848, sulphuric 
acid, valued at more than $ 5,000,000, was manufactured in Great 
Britain, and when it is considered that Mr. Tighlman is able by his 
process to manu^ture this also at a cheaper rate, the importance of 
the discovery becomes considerably enhanced. 


Wb learn from the Comptes Rendus of the 5th of February, that 
Messrs. Thomas, Dellisse, and Boucard have presented to the Acade- 
my the description of a new process for converting culinary salt into 
sulphate of soda by means of the sulphate of iron. This would al- 
low the pyrites to be turned to very good account. The dry and pure 
sulphate of soda would not cost more than 2ji francs the 100 kilo- 
grams, instead of 13 to 18 francs, which is the ordinary price. The 


new process would, moreoTer, aroid all the diaidvantages attending 
the prodoction of the yapon of mariatie acid. 


M. Charriere, a manufacturer of surgical instruments in Paris, 
has for some time been in the habit of rendering flexible the ivory 
which be nse^ in making tubes, probes, and other instruments. He 
avails himself of a fact which has long been knovm, that when bones 
are subjected to the action of hydrochloric acid, the phosphate of lime, 
which forms one of their component parts, is extracted, and thus 
bones retain their original form and acquire great flexibility. M. 
Charriere, after giving to the pieces of ivory the required form and 
polish, steeps them in acid alone, or in acid partially diluted with 
water, and they thus become supple, flexible, elastic, and of a slightly 
yellowish color. In the course of drying, the ivory becomes hard and 
mflexible again, but its flexibility can be at once restored by wetting 
it, either by surrounding it with a piece of wet linen, or by placing 
sponge in the cavities of the pieces. Some piece's of ivory have been 
kept in a flexible state in the acidulated water for a week, and they 
were neither changed, nor injured, nor too much softened, nor had they 
acquired any taste or disagreeable smell. — London Patent JoumaL 


Some years ago', the emulsion of bitter almonds was found to pos- 
sess the property of annihilating the smell of musk, and most of the 
cyanic preparations evinced the same power. According to M. Mer- 
tot, a druggist of Bayeux, in Normandy, ergot of rye will produce 
the same eflfect ** I had," said he, " to prepare a number of pills, 
eontaining both ifiusk and ergot, — hardly were the two substances 
mixed, than the smell completely went off, so much so, that the pa- 
tient, who was not aware of the nature of the pills, only noticed the 
musk by the eflfects of flatulency." — Journal de CMmie M6dkale» 


Tbb ancients valued gems and party-colored stones so highly, that it 
finally became yery common to produce by artificial means copies of 
genuine stones, or to enhance the beauty of the latter. Among the 
various processes employed by the ancients for the coloring of these 
gems is one described by Pliny, which up to the present time has 
been generally,* although erroneoasly, treated as a fable ; this process 
consisted in boiling the stones with honey, during at least seyen or 
eight days, and it is a curious fact, that this identical process is still 
employed in the agate manufactories of Oberstein and Idar, for the 
purpose of converting chalcedonies and red and yellow cornelian into 
fine onyx. This process was for many years known only to an agate 
merchant of Idar, who had probably purchased it from some Italian 
artist. The coloring of these stones is founded on the following prop- 


erty. The ribbons or zoDes in the different Tarieties of chalcedony, 
which, in the kidney-formed maeeee of that sabstance, lie superim- 
posed, differ in their texture and compactness ; but owing to their 
similarity of color in the natural state, they can only be distinguished 
from each other with difficulty. The stone is, howeyer, capable of 
absorbing fluids in the direction of the strata ; this property the strata 
possess in different degrees ; therefore, if a colored fluid be absorbed, 
and the quantity taken up by the pores of the stone is different for every 
stratum or zone, it is clear that a number of tints will be produced cor- 
responding to the number of zones, each of which will be rendered dis- 
tinct and colored in proportion to the quantity of the fluid it may have 
absorbed. Thus, a specimen of stone naturally but slightly colored may, 
by this treatment, be rendered equal to fine stratified chalcedony or 
onyx, and may be employed equally well in the engraving of cameos, 
or for any other purpose where the variety of color can be reudered 
available. The signs of value in these stones, when in their rough 
state, are recognized by the merchants by an empirical test, which 
rests upon the property of the absorption of liquids. In the trial, a 
small piece is broken off that part of the rough stone which is expect- 
ed to be of marketable value. When polished, this fragment is mois- 
tened by the tongue ; the buyer then remarks carefully the rate at 
which the moisture dries away, and also whether the absorption takes 
place in alternate bands or zones, and in one zone more rapidly than 
in another. By this they judge of the beauty and value of the stone. 
— London Journal of Arts for December. 


M. DB Sbnarmont has been successful in forming several minerals 
by the humid way, which appear to throw much light on the pro- 
cesses employed by nature in the formation of mineral veins, and 
many of the earthy minerals found in the granitic rocks. He incloses 
in a strong glass tube hermetically sealed the substances to act upon 
each other, — as, for instance, sulphate of iron and carbonate of soda, 
in solution. The tube, being cautiously sealed, is placed in a gun-bar- 
rel, half full of water, and this being also closed, the whole arrange- 
ment is exposed to the action of heat. Double decomposition of course 
follows the mixing of the above salts ; but under the increased pres- 
sure and temperature, the carbonate of iron is redissolved, and event- 
ually deposited in crystals of a grayish white character, which are not 
altered by exposure to the air. The following is an account of some 
of his results. 

He formed carbonate of magnesia from sulphate of magnesia and 
carbonate of soda, temperature about 160^ C. It was in the state of 
white crystalline grains, hardly attacked by the acids. 

Carbonate of iron from sulphate of protoxide of iron and carbonate 
of soda ; temperature 150<^ C, and above. Also, from protochloride of 
iron and carbonate of lime ; temperature between 130^ and 200^ for 
twelve, twenty-four, and thirty-six hours. 

Carbonate of manganese from chloride of manganese and carbonate 


of soda ; temperature about 16(K> C. Also, from ebkmde of man- 
ganese and carbonate of lime ; temperature between 140^ and 170^ C, 
for twelve to forty-eight hours. 

Carbonate of zinc from a process like that for carbonate of iron. 
'■^Comptes Rendus, June, 1849. 


It is known that borax, boracic acid, phosphoric acid, and the alka- 
line phosphates, dissolve metallic oxides with ease, at a certain tem- 
perature, and abandon them at a much higher temperature by virtue 
of their volatility. These bodies enjoy, therefore, in regard to the 
oxides which they hold in solution, the function which water pos- 
sesses at the ordinary temperature, or at temperatures more elevated 
In relation to bodies held in solution by it, — that very oflen on evap- 
orating it leaves such bodies in a crystalline condition. This simple 
principle hsus led M. Ebelman to a method which will enrich chemis- 
try, by the dry method, with a great number of novel combinations, 
and which will establish the most intimate connection between miner- 
alogy and chemistry. On mingling together, for example, alumina 
and magnesia in a little larger proportion than they exist in spinel, 
with a portion of fused boracic acid, and exposing the mixture to the 
most elevated temperature of a porcelain furnace, octahedrons are ob- 
tained which possess the composition and properties of spinel. These 
crystals are rose-red or blue according as the oxide of chrome or of 
cobalt is used. M. Ebelman has obtained in this way chrysoberyl, 
and many other aluminates. He has prepared many varieties of 
chrome iron, which all present regular octahedrons with the usual min- 
eralogical characters, and has also obtained, by the aid of this pro- 
cess, the emerald and peridot crystallized. Boracic acid is too volatile 
to aid in crystallizing alumina, and in this case he employed borax. 
By the addition of a little oxide of chrome, crystals of red ruby are 
obtained, having the formula of transparent corundum.— Comptes 
Rendus, Tom. XXV. pp. 279 and 661. 


Ten parts of logwood are to be exhausted with eighty of boiling 
water. To the solution one thousandth of its weight of yellow chro- 
mate of potash is to be added gradually. The liquid turns brown and 
at last blue-black. No gum is needed, and the ink is not removed by 
soaking in water. — Chemical Gazette, London* 


At a meeting of the Royal Society in May, M. Niepce exhibited a 
drawing produced by the following ingenious process. An engraving 
is placed in a box containing iodine, at such a temperature that a small 
portion is vaporized* The ink of the engraving condenses a much 


greater proportion of the vapor than the mere blank paper ; so that 
when, after a few minutes, the engraving is taken out, exposed for a 
moment or two to the air, and then laid on a film of starchj part of the 
iodine becomes detached from the engravinff, and is transferred to the 
film of starch, producing a very delicate and beautiful copy of the en- 
graving. It is necessary to inclose the film of starch oetween two 
glass plates in order to preserve it. 


M. Leclaire, a somewhat celebrated house-painter of Paris, after 
a series of difficult and unceasing experiments, has made a very im- 
portant discovery in the art of mixing paints. It is an undisputed 
fact, that white lead, which is by far the most important ingredient 
used in mixing colors, contains an active and very deadly poison, and 
persons who work with it are often subjected to what is termed the 
** painters' cholic." The prevalence of this disease is shown by the 
fact, that, in 1841, 302 persons affected with it were admitted into the 
hospitals of Paris, of whom 280 were cured, 12 died, and 1 became 

M. Leclaire 's attention having been directed to this subject, after 
years of labor he has succeeded in discovering a preventive for this 
disease. To show the problem he had to resolve, we enter somewhat 
into detail. 

The fundamental colors in painting, those by means of which all 
possible tints are obtained, are white, black, yellow, red, and blue, 
and for greater facility green is added ; gray is a mixture of black 
and white, green of yellow and blue, violet and indigo of red and 
blue, &c. 

The most important of the primitive colors, that which it is the most 
essential to render perfectly innocuous and unchangeable, is white, 
which enters into the composition of nearly all paints. The white 
exclusively employed now is the white oxide or carbonate of lead, of 
which that called the white of silver is only a more perfect variety. 
But the oxide of lead is at once a violent poison and eminently subject 
to decomposition ; it becomes dirty and black, and is destroyed by 
contact with sulphurous vapors, which are so abundant in nature that 
it is impossible with every imaginable care to protect it from their 
corroding influence. For the yellow, we have the chromes and the 
orpines, which, though durable, are very deleterious. The blues and 
the blacks are at once harmless and durable. The greens are either 
very expensive, or deleterious, or subject to rapid decomposition. 

All these defects M. Leclaire has supplied. He produces a pure, 
dazzling, and durable white, by means of the oxide of zinc ; various 
tints of yellow from the same ; an excellent red, having for its base 
sulphide of antimony ; and a number of fine greens by means of oxide 
of zinc and sulphate of copper. He also prepares an oil to be used 
with these paints, which is obtained by boiling lOOlbs. of linseed oil 
with 51bs. of peroxide of manganese. 

Of the complete success of M. Leclaire's paints there is abundant 


evidence. He has painted over six thousand public and private estab- 
lishments, — the Departments of War and of Public Works, the 
Bank of France, the Prefecture of Police, the railroad depots, &c., 
— and in every instance the fact is conclusively established, that the 
colors, with their bases of zinc, manganese, &c., are by no means in- 
jurious to the health of the workmen engaged in their manufacture, 
to painters using them, or te the persons who may reside in houses 
freshly painted. Of the correctness of this statement it is only neces- 
sary to say that, under the old order of things, a dozen of M. Le- 
claire's workmen, on an average, were attacked yearly by this un- 
pleasant disease ; whereas, now, not a single person in his employ 
has been poisoned. The new colors are infinitely more solid and du- 
rable than the old; they preserve everywhere and always their 
primitive tints, even in'sulphuric bath-rooms ; and they have a property 
still more precious, namely, when they are cleansed by simple wash- 
ing, they resume their original brightness, while the old colors, when 
washed even with acids, which dissolve a portion, remain dull and 
spotted, and for the simple reason, that every thing which decomposes 
stains them. The white of zinc is so much superior to the white of 
lead, that when the framing of a panel is painted with the best white 
lead and the centre with zinc- white, the contrast makes the framing 
look yellow and gray and offensive to the eye. In such a comparison, 
even the Venetian white loses its purity. The white lead appears to 
absorb the light, while the white of zinc reflects it completely, and is 
brilliant and transparent. The new colors are much richer and bright- 
er, are easily applied, and dry in a very 'short time. They are also 
more economical, for experience has fully proved , tliat, if we compare 
the quality of white of lead with the white of zinc, or the quantities 
of oil necessary to prepare these two substances, the advantage of at 
least thirty per cent, is in favor of the white of zinc, which covers 
better with equal weight. 

M. Leclaire has received the Cross of the Legion of Honor, as a 
reward for his discovery. 


At a meeting of the Mechanics' Insttitute, in London, several ex- 
periments were tried, having for their object the exhibition of the de- 
odorizing powers of a species of charcoal prepared from Irish peat. 
In one of the experiments a pan of night-soil was put in a hopper 
along with two pans of peat charcoal. The' mixture was then ground 
in an ordinary hand-mill, and delivered into a vessel, where it was ex- 
amined by many scientific men, who all agreed in considering the ex- 
periment successful, as they could not detect the least disagreeable 
odor. One of the inspectors of the Board of Health stated that this 
charcoal would afford an admirable means of disinfecting cesspools. 
A gentleman also stated, that he had tried its effect with complete 
success 9n various kinds of manure. Mr. Rogers, the inventor, re- 
marked that he had given unremitting attention to the subject for five 
years, and that he could deliver, in I^ndon, the coal made from Irish 
peat at about twelve dollars the ton. 



An interesting experiment, illustrative of the poisonous effects of 
strychnia, was recently made by Professor Agassiz, at Cambridge. 
The subject was a large black bear, about eighteen months old. The 
animal was taken when young, and had been kept in captivity for a 
considerable period. . Professor Agassiz being desirous to kill it for 
the purpose of dissection, about three grains of strychnia were ad- 
ministered in a biscuit. The poison, although extremely bitter, was 
readily swallowed. At the expiration of ten minutes, no effect hav- 
ing been produced, a second dose of about the same quantity was also 
inclosed in a biscuit and offered. The cunning animal broke open 
and swallowed the biscuit, but rejected the poison. The first portion, 
however, had proved efficacious, and in exactly fifteen minutes from 
the time when first administered, the animal was seized with terrible 
convulsions, and soon died. The whole time which elapsed between 
the taking of the poison and the death of the animal did not exceed 
twenty-five minutes. In order to alleviate its sufferings and hasten 
death, a quantity of hydrocyanic acid was poured upon the nose and 
mouth of the bear. It did not, however, produce any sensible effect, 
and was not apparently taken into the system, as the animal at the 
time was nearlv dead. But the subsequent effects of the poison were 
most remarkable. Although the bear, at the time of death, was in 
perfect health and strength, twenty-four hours had not elapsed before 
the body was in an advanced stage of decomposition. Indeed the ap- 
pearances indicated that the animal had been dead nearly two months. 
The interior of the body, when opened about twenty hours after 
death, still retained its warmth in a considerable degree, while an 
offensive gas issued from every pore. The blood had not coagulated, 
the spinal marrow and nerves were in a semi-fluid state, and the flesh 
had assumed a leaden-gray color. The hair of the hide readOy came 
out, on being slightly pulled. No smell of the hydrocyanic acid 
could be perceived. 

The origin of this singular and speedy decomposition is not fully 
known, though it is supposed to be due to the agency of the hydro- 
cyanic acid. A chemical examination of the muscle, brain, nerves, 
liver, and kidneys is now going on at the Cambridge laboratory, under 
the direction of Professor Horsford. One singular fact connected 
with the spontaneous decomposition of these parts is, that they all 
yielded or disengaged hydrosulphuric acid gas, with' the exception 
of the liver, which did not. 


The composition usually assigned to these acids makes them two 
different oxides of the radical, analogous to the arrangement in hypo- 
sulphuric acid and sulphuric acids. The acids are supposed to be anhy- 
drous. Recent experiments have shown that the atomic weight of 
the two acids is the same. Seven analyses of stearic acid, derived 
from different sources, gave results strikingly concordant, and afford- 


ed the formula, exactly, for raargaiio acid. This discovery, which 
places stearic and roargaric acids in the same relation with tartaric 
and racemic (metatartaric) acids, greatly simplifies the whole of a 
hitherto intricate subject, and, above all, does away with the dijQTerence 
between^ the fat of man and the pig and that of other animals, a 
result highly important in physiology. — Comptes Bendus, March, 


This body was discovered about two years since by M. Sobrero, 
and is formed by the action of nitro-sulphuric acid upon glycerine, 
it is a heavy yellow oil, insoluble in water, inodorous, but sweet, 
pungent, and aromatic to the taste. The physiological action of this 
substance is most extraordinary; the foUowing have been the re- 
sults of a series of experiments upon man and the lower animals, 
performed by Dr. Hering, with some other medical gentlemen of 
rhiladelphia. When taken in small doses the effect is an almost im- 
mediate acceleration of the pulse, with giddiness and a sense of ful- 
ness and pressure in the frontal region, followed by a severe head- 
ache, which is often confined to the coronal region, sometimes to one 
side of the head, and attended with twitchings of the muscles of the 
^e, and sometimes a difficulty in articulation. The pain is greatly 
aggravated by motion, and, on shaking the head, is sdmost intoler- 
able. These symptoms subside spontaneously in a short time, and 
are often succeeded by a diminished pulse and a feeling of soreness 
about the head. The most extraordinary feature connected with these 
observations is the very minute quantity required to produce the effect 
described. In the experiment of Dr. Hering,. one drop of the glo- 
noine was placed in a bottle, to which 5,000 globules of milk-sugar 
were added, and, by agitating, the whole were impregnated. The 
number of these globules required to produce the symptoms above de- 
scribed is from 5 to 20, 50, and in some individuals 200. The ma- 
jority of persons experience the symptoms in, a marked degree, after 
having taken SOs^J^th of a grain, and many susceptible subjects are 
painfully affected by 5 = j^th of a grain. The lower animals are less 
sensible to its action ; ten drops were required to destroy a frog ; four 
drops given to a cat produced convulsions, but the animal recovered ; 
another cat was killed by three drops. The strongest dose taken by 
a man has been one tenth of a drop. Common cofiee is found to be 
an antidote to the unpleasant effects of an overdose. A substance of 
such unexampled potency in its action upon the human system, can 
scarcely be without use in the treatment of disease ; we understand 
that a careful examination is now making of it, with a view to its 
practical application and use. — Condensed from Silliman's Journal, 


Some observations and experiments on ozone have been published 
by Williamson, an early investigator on this interesting subject. He 
critically examines the view adopted by Schonbein, the discoverer, 

19 * 


ftnd 18 inelined to coomder osone as a peroxide of hydrogen. He 
explains its formation by the action of phosphorus upon steam and 
oxygen by the transference of chemical action. The combination of 
phosphorus with oxygen occasions a simultaneous formation of per- 
oxide of hydrogen by the union of water and oxygen. Schonbein 
states, as the result of some recent experiments, that ozone, produced 
either by means of phosphorus, by galvanic decomposition of water, 
or by frictional electricity, decomposes solutions of the salts of protoxide 
of man^nese, with separation of hydrated binoxide. Paper mois- 
tened with such a solution becomes Inown. Under the influence of 
solar radiation, chlorine and bromine water act in the same manner, 
though more slowly. Chlorine and bromine water, or atmospheric 
air impregnated with ozone, produce from basic acetate of lead brown 
bfnoxide of lead. Solutions of the salts of protoxide of manganese 
may thus be employed as sympathetic inks ; writing of this kind, 
when exposed to the vapor of osone, immediately becomes brown ; the 
color disappearing, after some time will reappear when exposed again 
to the ozone. Sdionbein has also published the result of some investi- 
gations on the presence of ozone in the atmosphere. A mixture of 
starch-paste and iodide of potassium became gradually blue in the open 
air ; paper moistened with sulphate of protoxide of manganese slight- 
ly changed to brown, in the same manner as in air impregnated with 
ozone ; this does not, however, take place in confined air. He con- 
siders it very probable that the proportion of ozone in the atmosphere 
stands in intimate relation to the prevalence of catarrhal affections. ' 

While no ozone is produced by phosphorus in moist oxygen, at 
the ordinary temperature and density of the air, it is formed accord- 
ing to Schonbein in oxygen rarefied, or heated d>ove 24^ ; generally 
under those conditions under which phosphorus becomes luminous in 

In connection with his researches on ozone, Schonbein has published 
a memoir on the various chemical conditions of oxygen. He endeav- 
ours to establish the view, that oxygen mi^y exist in two difierent 
states, in the ordinary form, and in the state in which it is more in- 
clined to enter into chemical combination ; the latter form he distin- 
guishes by the terms oxylized oxygen. He mentions those compounds 
in which he supposes the presence of oxylized oxygen, and expresses 
some doubts regarding the supposition, that ozone is oxygen in a 
peculiarly modified state. 

Some experiments have been described by Osann, according to 
which no ozone was produced by the electrolysis of pure water ; 
whilst the diffusion of frictional electricity into an atmosphere of 
hydrogen gave rise to the odor of ozone. He found that ozone-odor 
was invariably produced, whether the frictional electricity was discharg- 
ed either from platinum, copper, brass, or iron. He considers that these 
experiments are equally unfavorable to the view, that ozone is an 
oxide of either hydrogen or nitrogen, and asks whether the electrical 
ozone-odor in reality belongs to the same substance which is obtained 
in chemical processes. In a more recent conmiunication he acknowl- 
edges the identity of phosphorus ozone and that which is generated 



by electridtr. For the pTeparation of ozonised oxygen, he recom^ 
mends the eleotrolysis of a concentrated solution of sulphate of zinc 
containing undissoWed crystals. -^Uebig^s Annual Report. 

From Uie above it will be seen that chemists are not yet fully 
agreed concerning the nature or production of this singular substance, 
ozone. To Schonbein and Williamson we are indebted for most of 
our knowledge concerning it. The latter has supposed it to be a coofr- 
ponnd of oxygen and hydrogen, from the fact, that, when the ozone 
completely freed from moisture was passed oyer ignited copper, 
water was produced. De la Rive produced it by passing a cur- 
rent of electricity through pure dry oxygen gas, contained in a receiv- 
er. It is also obtained in large quantities by passing oxygen gas 
oyer moistened phosphorus and afterwards drying it. Thus pre- 
pared, it is a powerful chemical agent, possesses bleaching properties, 
oxidizes the metals with rapidity, and destroys India-rubber. The 
hydrogen acids of sulphur are decomposed bv it, water being formed 
br uniting with the hydrogen of the acid, and sulphur being set free. 
Professor Horsford has observed that ozone subjected to a Heat of 
ISQO Fahrenheit entirely loses its properties. C^Kone, like chlorine, 
precipitates iodine, coloring- a solution of iodide of potassium and 
starch a deep blue color. The peculiar smell prevalent in the vicinity 
of objects struck by lightning, as well as that occasioned by the ex- 
dtation of an electrical maclune, and by the striking of two pieces of 
siHca together, is believed to be occasioned by ozone. — Editors, 



At the meeting of the American Association, an instrument for 
determining the relative quantity of ozone in the air was presented by 
Prof. Horsford. It consisted of a tube, containing at one end a plug 
of asbestos, moistened with a solution of iodide of potassium and 
starch. This plug within the tube, attached to an aspirator, would, 
as air passed over it, become blue. If much water flowed from the 
aspirator, and of course much air flowed over the asbestos before it 
became blue, the quantity of ozone indicated would be small. If but 
little water flowed (and this could be measured), the quantity of 
ozone indicated would be greater. The quantities of ozone would be 
inversely as the volumes of air passing through the tube before blue- 
ness is produced. 


At the last meeting of the American Association for the Promotion 
of Science, Prof. R N . Horsford, of the Lawrence Scientific School, 
communicated the results of some observations undertaken with the 
object of ascertaining the amount of moisture, ammonia, and organic 
matter existing in the atmosphere. The observations recorded of the 
moisture by Prof. Horsford commenced on the last day of February, 
and were continued until the 12th of April, and thence occasionally 


down to the 9(Hh of July. Tbey were aoeom|Moied by notes of the 
barometer, the temperature, and the direction and force of the wind. 
Amooe the resalle obtained were the foUowing , as briefly given by 
Prof. Horsford : — 

That, other things being equal, the moisture is in general propor- 
tion to the temperature ; Uiat slight variations of temperature are not 
aeeompanied by corresponding variations in the quantity of moisture, 
and that great variations in the quantity of moisture may take place, 
while the temperature and altitude of tlie mercurial column remain 
constant. The quantity of the moisture, too, has even doubled in the 
course of an hour, although the temperature became reduced. In 
geueral, again, the moisture on the same day seems M) depend chiefly 
on the direction of the wind. 

The least quantity of moisture was observed during a northwest or 
north-northwest wind ; the largest, during a southwest or south-south- 
west wind. The former occurred on the 12th of March, and the latter 
on the 23d of June last The quantity on the latter day, remarked the 
Professor, was to that on tlie former as more than fifty to one. 

The method employed was that of Brunner, which consists of an 
apparatus for transmitting a known volume of atmospheric air through 
a chloride-of-calcium tube, previously and subsequently weighed. 
The difference between the weights before and after the experiment 
presents the amount of moisture in a given volume of air. 

The permeability of atmospheric air to aqueous vapor was estab- 
lished by experiment, and the observations extended through a period 
of several months. It has been observed, that the striking through 
of ink employed in writing takes place more promptly in very hot than 
in cooler weather. A piece of writing-paper of known superficial 
area was placed in a glass tube closed at one end, and weighed from 
day to day, noting at the same time the temperature. It was found 
to weigh more as the temperature was higher. 

The quantity of ammonia in the air was determined by an appara- 
tus of the author's construction. The object in view in the arrange- 
ment of the apparatus was, to provide that the air should, by means 
of an aspirator, be transmitted through a constantly renewed at- 
mosphere of hydrochloric acid vapor. To this end, a series of tubes 
and flasks containing asbestos drenched with hydrochloric acid were 
connected with a safety-tube, which was connected with an aspirator. 
Through this apparatus a known volume of air was transmitted. At 
the conclusion of the experiment, the apparatus was thoroughly rinsed 
with distilled water, and the ammonia determined in the usual manner 
with bichloride of platinum. Several determinations iiaviqg been 
made, it was ascertained that the quantities of ammonia in Ae east 
wind varied considerably from each other ; and such was the discrep- 
ancy of the Professor's results that he forbore a statement of quanti- 
ties ascertained, — except so far as to remark, that they very greatly 
exceed those obtained by Fresenius in his recent determinations. One 
determination was made in a locality in Boston pointed out by one of 
the police-officers as the worst habitable part of the city, and the at- 
mosphere, which was in the highest degree offensive, was not found to 



be distingxiiBhed on aocoimt of its ammonia aboYe that of the ocean 
in an east wind. 

Continued observations on the state of the atmosphere, made since 
the reading of this paper before the American Association, show 
that the quantity of ammonia in the atmosphere is subject to con- 
stant variation. In the summer, when vegetable and animal decay 
is most rapid, the quantity of ammonia in the atmosphere is at a maxi- 
mum, and afterwards decreases regularly until the winter season, 
when it is at a minimum. The following table shows the amount of 
ammonia found in the atmosphere at thirteen different analyses. 

Ammonia in 

1. July 3 . • • 

3. July 9 . 

3. July 9 . . . 

4. September 1 to 30 

5. October 11 . 

6. October 14 

7. October 30 . 

8. November 6 

9. November 10, 12, and 13 . 

10. November 14, 15, and 16 

11. November 17 to December 5 
13. December 20 and 31 . 
13. December 29 

1,000.000 parts, 
by weight, of air. 


. 46.1246 


. 29.7457 


. 25.7919 









WoHLER, of Grermany , has ascertained that the crystals found in 
the slag of some furnaces, and supposed to be pure titanium, con- 
tain both carbon and nitrogen in proportions corresponding with the 
formula Ti Cy -|- 3 Ti^ N. This fact gives us entirely new ideas of 
the nature of nitrogen, a body supposed to be distinguished above all 
others for its tendency to take on the gaseous form when its compounds 
are subject to heat. — iMter of Prof , laebig to Prof, Horsford. 




At the recent meeting of the American Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Science, resolutions were offered, strongly urging the 
completion of geological surveys of the several States of the Union 
which still remain unfinished. There are several cases of this kind, 
and the interests of the State, the country, and of knowledge, strongly 
demand that the work he carried forward. Large portions of our ter- 
ritory, rich, it may he, in wealth of minerals, building material, fertile 
soil, and various productions valuable in the arts, remain unexplored, 
and, where explorations have been made, there have been delays in the 
publication of reports, which are not creditable to the legislatures that 
have this matter in control, nor just to those who have been laboring 
in the surveys. •— SilUman's Journal. 


The following account of the geology of the gold regions of Califor- 
nia is compiled from various sources. The region of the Sacramento 
is remarkable for the great extent of its alluvial plains or flats. Two 
hundred miles from its mouth they are twenty miles wide, but near Sut- 
ter^s Fort the width is between fifty and sixty miles. The country about 
Sutter's Fort during the winter is mostly covered with water, and the 
same is true of the bottom-lands of the rivers of the gold region. All 
the gold thus far discovered occurs uniformly in one geological forma- 
tion. This is the stratum of drift, or diluvium, composed of a heteroge- 
neous mixture of clay, sand, gravel, and pebbles, and varying in thick- 
ness from a few inches to several feet. There are many boulders ly- 
ing directly beneath the soil, and resting on the rocks below, which, m 
most of the diggings, consist of gneiss or clay-slate, running about 
north-northwest and south-southwest, and dipping nearly perpendic- 
ularly. The stratum of diluvium is, however, neither horizontal nor 
of uniform slope, but conformed to the varying inclination of the 

earth's suifaoe, covering the dediyities, and even tiie summits of the 
hills, as well as the bottoms of the ravines and valleys. The sandbars 
of many of the mountain torrents are extremely rich in metal. Quartz 
is believed to be the only substance with whicn the gold is intimately 
connected. The gold of different localities varies very much in size. 
That £*om the banks and sandbars of the rivers is generally in the 
form of small, flattened scales, and commonly it is found to be finer 
the lower, you descend the stream. That taken from the bottom 
of dry ravines is mostly of a larger size, and occurs both in small par- 
ticles and also in small lumps and irregular water-worn masses, nom 
the size of wheat-kernels to pieces of several ounces, or even pounds, 
in weight. The black, ferruginous sand, which everywhere accom- 
panies the gold, varies in fineness with the size of the accompanying 

The slate beds mentioned above oflen include dikes or beds of 
quartz rock, in which some have asserted that gold has been found in 
place, but this still wants confirmation. In some of the richest ex- 
plorations yet made, however, the slate directly underlies the stratum 
of diluvium mentioned as containing the gold, and this slate has many 
crevices or '* pockets," into which the .gold has been washed in con- 
siderable quantities, and this fact also has given rise to the belief that 
gold has been found in place: 

In conclusion, there can be little doubt that the gold was deposited 
in its present position by the same agency and at the same time as the 
stratum in which it occurs. It is a peculiar fact, that some specimens 
have been found which appear to have been moulded on regular quartz 

To the east of the gold regions are the mountains of Sierra Neva- 
da, consisting of prii;nitive and metamorphic rocks. In the vicinity of 
these mountains, the gold and its associated quartz disappear ; the 
rocks underlying the drift appear to consist entirely of gneiss, which 
is afterwards succeeded by granite. 

North of the Bay of San Francisco, talcose slates of various colors 
have been noticed, and also hills of red and yeUow jasper, in layers 
varying from half an inch to four inches in thickness. At the 
Straits of Caquines, bluffs of red sandstone, alternating with clayey 
layers, occur. This sandstone, which is believed to pertain to the 
eocene period, is soft and easily worked. On a small island near 
these Straits, gypsum has been found in considerable quantities. 

In a letter, dated at San Francisco, October 29th, and published in 
SiUiman^s Journal for January, 1850, Rev. C. S. Lyman states that 
** gold has at last been discovered in place, — in veins penetrating 
quartz beds, — on the Mokelemnes and in the vicinity of the Mariposa, 
and one or two other places. I have this from gentlemen who have 
seen the veins, and who are reliable witnesses. These veins are of 
course not worked yet, as it is more profitable to dig the wash- 

The Pacific News for November 30th states that quartz containing 
gold has been found in inexhaustible quarries through the whole 
mountainous region which forms the western slope of the Sierra No- 


Tada. Hon. T. Butler King has spent mnch time in examining this 
region, and is about making a report upon it to the government at 
Washington ; it will be accompanied by numerous specimens. We 
haye ourselves examined specimens from these quartz mountain- 
quarries, which are in the possession of Mr. Wnght, one of the 
members of Congress elect from Cidifornia, who wul take them on 
to Washington. They consist, for the most part, of small pieces of 
quartz rock, generally of a brownish tinp^e, and, in some instances, 
presenting the appearance of a slight incipient decay, or decomposi- 
tion, of uie rock formation. In all these specimens the gold points, 
or particles, are very slightly, if at all, yisible to the naked eye. The 
microscope, howeyer, reveals the |^old more clearly. Besides these 
pieces, which Mr. Wright has himself selected with great care, as 
the fairest ayerage samples of the general appearance of enormous 
and very numerous veins, or quarries, of quartz, there is also one 
larger fragment of the same rock, weighing, we should suppose, some 
ten or twelve 'pounds, from all parts of which the gold protrudes plain- 
ly in a state aunost pure. This single fragment of quartz, which Mr. 
Wright by no means regards as an average sample of the quarries, 
but which he pronounces to be the richest rock-specimen he has seen, 
is found by the most careful specific-gravity test, to applied to it by 
Mr. Wright, to contain pure gold to the amount of about six hundred 

Mr. Wright has spent much time among the mountains collecting 
his specimens, and has been assisted by a gentleman conversant with 
mining operations. The astonishing result brought out by these in- 
vestigations is, that, in a particular and very extensive vein, four 
pounds of this rock yielded, upon the average, $ 11 worth of pure 
ffold, valued at $ 16 to the ounce ; that is to say, the yield of gold 
nrom these average samples of the rock in this particular vein is nearly 
$ 3 for each pound of quartz. Mr. Wright exhibited to us two small 
masses of gold, each about the size and shape of a large musket-ball, and 
both presenting the granulated appearance of gold extracted and collect- 
ed by the aid of quicksilver. One of these contains about $ 12 of pure 
gold, and is the largest 3rield which has been obtained from 41bs. of the 
rock in question. The other contains about $ 10, and is the smallest 
yield which has been obtained from any of the experiments upon the rock 
of this vein. We understand that the tests applied haye been some- 
times the operation of quicksilver, and sometimes the test of the com- 
parative specific gravity of the pure quartz and the gold-bearing quartz. 

The Secretary of the Interior remarks, in his Annual Report : — 
'* The gold is found sometimes in masses, the largest of which 
brought to the mint weighed 89oz. They are generally equal to the 
standard of our coin in purity, and their appearance that of a metal 
forced into the fissures and cavities of the rocks in a state of fusion. 
Some masses, however, are flattened apparently by pressure, and 
scratched as if by attrition in a rough surface. One small mass which 
was exhibited had about five parts in weight of gold to one of quartz 
intimately blended, and both together bouldered so as to form a hand- 
some rounded pebble, with a surface of about equal quartz and gold. 

6E0L0«Y. 32S 

A Tary large proportioii of the grold, howeYer, k obttined in snaU 
scales, by washing the earth which is dug up on the beds of the streams 
or near their aiargin. A mass of the crude earth, as taken at raodom 
from a placer, was tested by the Director of the United States Mint at 
Philadelphia, and found to contain 264igr8. of gold, being in value » 
fra«tion over $ 10 to lOOlbs. It cannot, however, be reiusonably sup- 
posed that the average alluvial earth in the placezs is so highly au^ 



At the meeting of the American Association for the Promotion of 
Science, Professor H. D. Rogers presented an important communica- 
tion on the ** Structural Features of the Appalachian Mountains, com- 
(pared with those of the Alps and other disturbed Districts of Europe." 
The characteristic features of the Appalachians are, that on their 
southeast slopes the strata are invariably doubled into oblique flexures 
or folds. Farther towards the northwest, or central belts of the chain, 
these flexures are less perceptible, but the inverted or northwestern side 
of the anticlinal curves dip much more steeply than the southeastern. 
Advancing still farther across the chain, these great flexures or arches 
of the rocks progressively expand, the curvature of the northwestern 
slopes still, however, dipping very steeply, while in the broad plateaus 
of the Alleghany and Cumberland Mountains the arches or waves sub- 
side and dilate into symmetrical undulations of equal and gentle cur- 
vature. Along all the southeastern border of the chain, the prevailing 
dip is therefore toward the belt of active igneous movement, where 
alone the strata are perforated by intrusive volcanic rocks. These 
arches or waves are of great length, and, whether straight or curved, 
exhibit a singular degree of parallelism and uniformity in their style 
of flexure. In the southeastern and middle zones of the chain, many 
of these great arches terminate in enormous longitudinal faults or frac- 
tures, which are nothing else than inverted flexures broken at some 
point in the inverted pact of the anticlinal, producing the apparent 
anomaly of an overlapping of newer strata by others of far older date. 
Some of these fractures thus ingulf a thickness of nearly two miles. 
The cleavage planes of the rocks are nearly parallel with the average dip 
of the planes which symmetrically cut or bisect the anticlinal ana syn- 
clinal curves ; and this law of position of the cleavage planes is found 
to prevail equally in the plicated districts of the Rhine and the Alps. 
Precisely analogous features to those which have been observed in the 
Appalachians have been proved to belong to the paleozoic region of 
the Ardennes, and the coal-fields of Belgium. In the more disturbed 
tracts the strata are closely and sharply folded into almost absolute 
parallelism, while farther north, in the carboniferous basins of the 
Meuse, these flexures dilate precisely as in the sections of the Alle- 
ghanies. The cleavage planes of the more contorted belt are, as in 
the Appalachian region, planes which divide the curves, parallel to 
the average dip of the axes. In the Jura, the same beautiful law of a 


peenluur c ui ^ atiue piefiib, the mat antidiMl expomag iawmMj^ 
or, with me ezeeptioiis, a nmch sleeper dip upon the aide which 
fiues the Alpe, than upon the opposite aide. The ayerage dip of the 
ncnlhweeteni abntmeDts does not amonnt to 40O, while that of the 
Bontheasleni eren exeeeds 7QP, In legaid to the chain of the 
Alps, Piof. RogezB piored that it consists of two raineipal aones of 
ekaeiy-plicated atnla. The eatiie beh of the Bernese Oberlaad 
displays folds which dip inwardly toward the high central peeks, 
with a nanllel or sootlndipping system of deavage. The soathem 
chain of the Monle Rosa exhibits a amilar system of flexures, bat of 
an opposite coder of dips, these being diieeled toward the north, and, 
therefore, also inclining inwards toward the high central summits. 
This opposite direction of the folds in the two of^Msite flanks of the 
chain at once explains the hitherto unsoWed i^nomenon of the in- 
ward dipping or fim-like position of the planes of stratification. The 
deavaffe dine on eadi flank of the chain, as in every other district, are 
paralld wiui the average dips of the anticlinal fdds. 


The delta of the Mississippi may be defined aa that part of the 
great alluvial slope which lies below, or to the south of the branch- 
Ukg off of the highest arm, or that c&lled the Atehafalaya. Above 
this point, which is the head of the delta, the Mississippi receives 
waters from its various tributaries; below, it gives out again, through 
numerous arms or channels, the waters which it conveys to the sea. 
The delta, so defined, ia about 14,000 square miles in area, and ele- 
vated from a few inches to ten feet above the level of the sea. The 
greater part of it protrudes into the Gulf of Mexico, beyond the 
genera] ooast-line. The level plane to the north, as far as Cape Gi- 
rardeau in Missouri, above.the junction of the Ohio, is of the same 
character, including an area of about 16,000 square miles, and is, 
therefore, larger than the delta. It is very variable in width from 
east to west, being near its northern extremity 50 miles wide, at 
Memphis, 30, at the mouth of the White River, 80, and contracting 
again farther south, as at Grand Gulf, to 33 miles. The delta and 
afiuviai plain rise by so gradual a slope from the sea, as to attain at 
the junction of the Ohio (a distance of 800 miles by the river), an 
elevation of only 900 feet above the Gulf of Mexico. 

Finding it impossible to calculate the age of the delta from the 
observed rate of the advance of the land on the Gulf in each centu- 
ry, I endeavoured to approximate, by a difl^erent method, to a mini- 
mum of the time required for bringing down from the upper country 
that large quantity of earthy matter which is now deposited within 
the area of the delta. Dr. Kiddell communicated to me the result of 
a series of experiments which he had made, to ascertain the propor- 
tion of sediment contained in the waters of the Missiasippi. He 
concluded that the mean annual amount of solid matter was to the 
water as yAt ^ weight, or about ^nArxF ^ volume. Since then he 

QE0L06T. SS7 

has made another series of experiments, and his tables show that the 
quantity of mud held in suspension increases regularly with the in- 
creased height and velocity of the stream. On the whole, compar* 
ing the flood season with that of clearest water, his experiments, 
continued down to 1849, give an average annual quantity of solid 
matter somewhat less than his first estimate, but not varying materi- 
ally from it. From these and other observations on the average 
width, depth, and velocity of the river, the mean annual discharge 
of water and sediment was deduced. I then (1846) assumed 528 
feet, or the tenth of a mile, as the probable thickness of the deposit 
of mud and sand in the delta ; founding my conjecture chiefly on the 
depth of the Gulf of Mexico between the southern point of Florida 
and the Balize, which equals, on an average, 100 fathoms, and part- 
ly on some borings 600 feet deep, in the delta near lake Pontchar- 
train, in which the bottom of the alluvial matter is said not to have 
been reached. The area of the delta being about 13,600 square statute 
miles, and the quantity of solid matter annually brought down by 
the river 3,702,758,400 cubic feet, it must have taken 67,000 years 
for the formation of the whole ; and if the alluvial matter of the 
plain above be 264 feet deep, or half that of the delta, it must have 
required 33,500 years more for its accumulation, even if its area be 
estimated as only equal to that of the delta, whereas it is in flict 

From information since received, especially from some observations 
made by Mr. Slidell during a government survey, which would lead 
to the inference that the average number of cubic feet of water dis- 
charged into the Gulf per second is considerably greater than was al- 
lowed in the above estimate, I think it not improbable that the time 
assigned is somewhat too long, as a larger quantity of sediment 
would be brought down in a given time. Sut, on the other hand, it 
must be remembered, that the delta is a mere fragmentary portion of 
a larger body of mud, the finer particles of which never settle down 
near the mouths of the Mississippi, but are carried far out into the 
Gulf, and there dispersed. Many circumstances, indeed, make me 
doubt whether the larger portion of that impalpable mud, which con- 
stitutes the bulk of the solid matter carried into the sea by the river, 
is not lost altogether, so far as the progress of the delta is concerned. 
So impalpable is the sediment, and so slowly does it sink, that a glass 
of water taken from the Mississippi may remain motionlcBs for Siree 
weeks, and yet all the earthy matter will not have reached the bot- 
tom. If particles so minute are carried by the current, setting for a 
great portion of the year from west to east, across the mouth of the 
river, into the Gulf Stream, and so into the Atlantic, they might ea- 
sily travel to the Banks of Newfoundland before sinking to the bot- 
tom, and some of them, which left the head-waters of the Missouri in 
the 49th degree of north latitude, may, after having gone southward 
to the Gulf, and then northward to the Great Banks, have found no 
resting-place before they had wandered for a distance as great as from 
the pole to the equator, and returned to the very latitude from which 
they set out. 


The age of stamps and erect tmnks of the deeidaoiis cypress, 
whether Tmng or buried, retaioing their natural position at points 
near the present termination of the delta, ought to he cazefuUy exam- 
ined, as they might affi»rd evidence of the minimum of time which 
can be allowed for the gain of land on the sea. Some single truoks 
in Louisiana are said to contain from 800 to 2,000 rings of annual 
growth, and Messrs. Dickeson and Brown show that, in some filled-up 
eypress basins, 4,000 years must haye passed since the first cypress- 
tree vegetated in them. 

After considering the age and origin of the modem deposits of the 
Mississippi and its tributaries, we have still to carry back our thoughts 
to the era of the fresh- water strata seen in the blufis which bound. the 
great valley. These in their southern termination have evidently 
formed an ancient coast line, beyond which the modem delta has been 
pushed forward into the sea. From the loam at Natchez and in other 
localities, from the remains of associated terrestrial animals, and from 
the buried treea at Port Hudson, we have inferred that these deposits 
are the monuments of an ancient alluvial plain of an age long anteri- 
or to that through which the Mississippi now flows, which was inhab> 
ited by land and fresh-water moUusca, agreeing with those now ex- 
isting, and by quadrupeds, now for the most part extinct. 

In my former work I described some ancient terraces occurring in 
the valley of the Ohio, and pointed out that the included fossil-sbeJis 
demonstrate the fluviatile and modern origin of the deposits, and sug- 
gested that their present position could only be explained by suppos- 
ing, first, a gradual sinking down of the land, after the original exca- 
vation of the valley, during which period the gravel and sand were 
thrown down, and then an upheaval of the same valley, when the 
liver cut deep channels through the fresh-water beds. By simply 
extending to the valley of the Mississippi the theory before applied 
to that of the Ohio, we may account for the geological appeaiancee 
seen in the larger and more southern area. 

In regard to the time consumed in accomplishing the great oscilla- 
tion of level, which first depressed so large an area to the depth of 
200 feet or more, and then restored it to its former position, it is im- 
possible, in the present state of science, to form more than a conjec- 
ture as to the probable mean rate of movement. To suppose an av- 
erage sinking and upheaval of two and a half feet in a century, might 
be sufficient, or would, perhaps, be too great, judging from the mean 
rate of change in Scandinavia, Greenland, the notth of the Adriatic, 
and other regions where similar changes are now going (m, or have 
been so recently. Even such an oscillation, if simultaneously contin- 
uous over the whole area, first in one direction, and then in another, 
and without any interruptions or minor oscillations, would require 
16,000 years for its accomplishment. But the section at Cincinnati 
seems to imply two oscillations, and there would probably be pauses, 
and a stationary period, when the downward movement ceased, and 
was not yet changed into an upward one. Nor ought we to imagine 
that the whole space was always in motion at once. — LyeWs S^nd 
Visit to the United States. 


GE0L06T. 329 


At the meeting of the American Association, in August, President 
Hitchcock, of Amherst College, read a paper ** On the River Ter- 
races of the Connecticut Valley, and on the Erosions of the Earth's 
Surface." He stated that his paper must be considered as containing 
a few facts and suggestions, and not a finished theory. He has ex- 
amined the valley from its mouth to Turner's Falls, and carefully 
measured the heights of the terraces. " As you approach the river, 
you find plains of sand, gravel, or loam, terminated by a slope, some- 
times as steep as 35^, and a second plain, then another slope and 
another plain, and so on, sometimes to a great number. I find that 
these terraces occur in successive basins, formed by the approaches of 
the mountains upon the banks, at intervals. Sometimes the basin 
will be 15 or 20 miles in width, but usually much narrower ; and it 
is upon the margins of these basins that the terraces are formed. I 
have rarely found terraces more than 200 feet above the river ; which 
would be, in Massachusetts, about 300 feet above the ocean, and at 
Hanover, N. H., about 560 feet. Nowhere do they exist along any 
river, unless that river has basins. As to the materials of which they 
are formed, they appear exceedingly artificial. The outer or highest 
terrace is generally composed of coarser materials than the inner ones. 
They are all composed of materials which are worn from the rocks, 
but the outer terrace oflener is full of pebbles, some of them as large 
as 13 inches, while the materials of the inner seem reduced to an 
impalpable powder, like the soil of a meadow which is overflowed 
during high water. Whence did these materials originate? The 
materials were first worn from solid rocks, and afrerwards brought 
into these valleys. The outer terrace appears to have been often in 
part the result of the drift agency. Afterwards the river agency sort- 
ed the materials, and gave them a level surface, the successive basins 
having at that time barriers. The inner terrace appears to have been, 
at least in its upper part, the result of deposition from the river itself. 

" I will now mention a few facts which I have observed. The ter- 
races do not generally agree in height upon the opposite sides of the 
valley. The higher ones oftener agree, perhaps, than the lower ones. 
If formed, as I suppose, from the rivers, we should expect this. The 
terraces slope downward in the direction of the stream. The same 
terrace which, near South Hadley, is 190 feet above the river, 
slopes until, at East Hartford, it is only 40 feet above the river, thus 
sloping 150 feet more than the slope of the river itself, in a distance 
of 40 or 60 miles. This shows that they could not have been formed 
by the sea or by a lake, for they would then have been horizontal. 
The greatest number of terraces observed is eight or nine ; generally, 
there are but two or three." President Hitchcock then gives his 
views of the precise mode in which these terraces were formed, illus- 
trating them by references to other parts of our country, and concludes 
by a notice of the erosions of the earth's surface. 





Sir R. I. MuRCHisoN, in a paper read before the Royal Geological 
Society of England, " On the Transitions between the Secondary 
and Tertiary Formations," shows that the vast formations of nummu- 
litic limestone, which have generally been merged into the cretaceous 
strata, belong in reality to the eocene tertiary. The testimony of or* 
ganic remains had previously referred these rocks to their true posi- 
tion, but it is only within a recent period that Mr. Murchison has beea 
enabled to prove, from patient geological researches, that the nummu* 
litic formation, when free from obscurities and unbroken, is in its su- 
perposition in harmony with the distribution of animal remains. The 
union of the nummulitic and cretaceous groups in one system has been 
almost exclusively based on the phenomena of both having undergone 
the same movements, and having been often elevated into the same 
peaks and ridges. This formation, says Mr. Murchison, extends 
through the whole of Southern Europe, the Crimea, Africa, Egypt, 
and Hindostan, or, in other words, from the Carpathians to the 
mouth of the Indus, a space of not less than 25 degrees of latitude 
has been occupied by sea-basins, in which the creatures of this era 
lived. In accordance with these views, a great change must be made 
in geological maps and in the classification of these rocks in Southern 
Europe and other parts of the world. 


From an article communicated to the March number of Silliman^s 
Journal, by Prof. F. S. Holmes, entitled, " Notes on the Geology of 
Charleston," the following facts have been obtained : — That Charles- 
ton, the capital of South Carolina, is built upon geological formations 
identical in age with, and in other respects similar to, those upon which 
the great cities of London and Pari5 are located, is a curious fact but 
lately ascertained. The basin-shaped depression of its underlying 
calcareous and other beds, as determined in the survey just made by 
Prof Tuomey, occupies a considerable extent between the Savannah 
and Pedee Rivers, and rests upon an older group of rocks known to 
geologists as the cretaceous formation. The sides of this basin are 
estimated to be of sufficient inclination to produce those artificial 
fountains which are produced by boring, and known as *' Artesian 
Wells," through which, by hydrostatic pressure, the water is forced 
up to, if not above, the surface. This basin seems destined to become 
as famous in the eyes of the scientific world as that of Paris, firom 
the number of new and interesting fossil remains with which it 
abounds, while those of them already exhumed claim for it a rank 
above that of the London basin. The explorations already made have 
brought to light portions of the bones and the grinders of the masto- 
don and numerous testacea. Descending below the post-pliocene for- 
mation, where these are found, is the eocene or lower tertiary, the 
first stratuQi being an olive-colored peaty substance, resting upon 

6E0L06T. 231 

another of sand, that separates it from the great marl-hed belojir. 
This stratam contains a quantity of water, which, in the horing of 
the Artesian well, rose in the tnhe to within six feet of the surface, 
and greatly obstructed the progress of the auger by filling it with 

Embedded in the peaty substance before mentioned, are numbers of 
rolled and water- worn rocks of all sizes, from a few inches to a foot 
in diameter, in which is found the same form of fossils as is seen 
in the great marl-bed below, — of which, doubtless, these are frag- 
ments broken off by the action of the sea and rolled into boulder-like 
masses, their nature changed by some chemical process, whereby 
nearly all the lime has been extracted, and the casts of the shells 
left preserved in a silicious rock, emitting, when broken, a fetid odor. 
This stratum, — the cause of whose separation and separate deposit 
yet remains to be determined, — including the first ten feet of the un- 
derlying marl, may be properly called " zeuglodons " or '* basilosau- 
rus" bed of the Charleston basin, which Prof. Agassiz has pro- 
nounced the " richest cemetery of animal remains that he had ever 
seen." From it was taken the most perfect skull yet found qf that 
wonderful gigantic fossil cetacean, and that by which was determined 
the true character of this singular animal. Isolated teeth and bones of 
Basilosaurns, Dinotherium, Megatherium, Equus, and nearly fifty spe- 
cies of sharks, are obtained in abundance. The number of unde- 
termined teeth and bones is considerable. Two specimens of walnuts 
with the epidermis converted to lignite ; three casts of hickory-nuts, 
very perfect and beautiful ; and fragments of wood (now lignite), 
bored by the Teredo, whose casts in marl are yet preserved, have 
been also obtained ; and, says Professor Holmes, at every visit some- 
thing new is added to my stock. 


A German traveller, Walterhausen, has recently published some 
sketches of Iceland, with especial relation to its volcanic phenomena, 
but he details many other interesting facts. Of the climate he says, 
that, " though of course in the main determined by its geographical 
position, it is considerably modified by the character of the neighbour- 
mg seas and the currents prevailing in them. In the surturbrand (a 
sort of bituminous coal existing in large beds) there are found well- 
preserved impressions of the leaves of the oak, willow, and beech. 
Steenstrup, who visited the island, on a commission from the Danish 
government, in 1838, found in some of the tuff strata the impressions 
of ten different kinds of trees of extinct species, which may be com- 
pared to those found in Canada and the United States. The leaves 
of the birch, willow, elm, maple, and liriodendron, as well as the 
cones and needles of various coniferae, place this view beyond a 
doubt." They are found in positions which show that fliey could not 
possibly have drifted thither, but that they must have grown on the 
island, so that a milder climate must have prevailed during the ter- 
tiary period than at present. Similar conclusions may be drawn from 


the fossil moUuflca. The aothor, however, rejects entirely the hypoth- 
esis of an ice period, and is very severe on its supporters. 

One carious fact with respect to the present climate of Iceland is, 
that it iB, in most years, the opposite of that of the European conti- 
nent. While the winter of 1844 - 45 was remarkably long and severe 
in Europe, it was in Iceland unusually mild. The summer of 1845 
was fine and dry in Iceland, rainy and cold in central Europe. Great 
inconstancy of weather is characteristic of the climate, and a calm 
tranquil air is the greatest of rarities, while storms of terrific violence 
are very firequent. The author mentions one in which a companion 
of his was blown off his horse, and the wind, in sweeping over the 
fiord, raised clouds of spray that reached them at a height of d,0OO 
feet above the water. 


At the meeting of the American Association for the Promotion of 
Science, August, 1849, a paper on the ** Isolation of Volcanic Action 
in the Sandwich Islands, or Volcanoes no Safety-Valves," waa 
read by Professor James D. Dana. The observations presented were 
made during the cruise of the Exploring Expedition under Captain 
Wilkes» and have an important bearing upon the theory of volcanio 

The island of Hawaii has an area of about 38,000 square miles, 
and contains three lofty volcanic cones, or domes. The principal one 
is Mount Loa, occupying the southern portion of the island, and be- 
ing, according to the observations of Captain Wilkes, about 14,000 
feet high. It has at its summit a large pit-like crater, somewhat 
elliptical in shape, with its diameters 13,000 and 8,000 feet, and a 
depth of 784 feet. There are no thin walls around it, as about Vesu- 
vius ; it is like a vast excavation in the wide summit-plain. Through 
fissures in the bottom of the pit, vapors are constantly rising, and at 
times the action is intense, and eruptions take place. 

Besides the summit-crater of Mount Loa, there is also a still larger 
one, Kilauea, situated on tlie southeastern slopes of Mount I^a, 
about 4,000 feet above the level of the sea. It is an amphitheatre of 
rock, 7h miles in circuit, and 3i in longest diameter, with a depth of 
1,000 feet, — large enough, in fact, to hold 400 such structures as St. 
Peter's at Rome. The bottom plane is 2i miles long and averages i 
of a mile in width. In the ordinary state of the volcano all seems re- 
markably quiet. When visited by Mr. Dana, six months after the 
eruption in 1840, there were wreaUis of vapor rising from a few parts 
of its inside surface, and in three places the red-hot lavas were in 
constant ebullition. One of these lakes of lava measured 1,000 by 
1,500 feet in its diameters. Over its surface jets were constantly 

{>laying, precisely like j^ts over a boiling caldSron of water; yet 
arger in the viscid fluid, for they rose to a height of 40 to 60 feet. 
At other times Kilauea is in full ignition throughout the larger part of 
its vast interior ; the caldrons are more numerous and extensive, and 
there are many spouting cones accompanied with detonations. These 

GEOLOcr. 233 

boiling pools in the bottom of Kilauea show no sympathy in their 
conditions ; one may sink 100 feet, while another is overflowing ; the 
smaller pools may boil at their ordinary level and overflow, when the 
large lake, 1,000 feet in diameter, has sunk 100 or 150 feet below 
the bottom plain of Kilauea. 

Again; although the pit Kilauea is 600 to 1,000 feet deep (the 
depth varying with its diflferent phases), eruptions sometimes take 
place through the very top of its walls, so that lavas will at times 
o6me to the very brink of the pit, and flow back again ; and this, too, 
while the great pools of lava are open hundreds of feet below, and in 
constant ebullition. When in 1843 an eruption took place from the 
summit of Mount Loa, and streams of lava for a whole month flowed 
out in different directions for a distance of twenty-five miles, Kilauea 
boiled at its usual rate, without the slightest disturbance or sighs of 
change, or appearance of sympathy. Missionaries who visited it 
when the crater at its summit was in full activity, report that perfect 
quiet and undisturbed regularity prevailed in Kilduea. It is a surpris- 
ing fact, that eruptions should take place at an elevation of 13,760 
feet, when, on the slopes of the mountain, sixteen miles distant, there 
is an open vent like Kilauea, more than three miles in length, and 
10,000 feet lower in elevation. Why is there no relief here for the 
vast accumulation of pressure ? This pressure, when the central con- 
duit is filled to the summit, amounts to 17,200 pounds to the square 
inch. How is it that the wide, open passage, which Kilauea appears 
to present, affords no escape for the imprisoned lavas? How is it 
possible, if the two great conduits, that of the centre of Mount Loa, 
and that of Kilauea, intercommunicate, — how is it possible that 
the heavy rock fluid stands 10,000 feet higher in one leg of the sy- 
phon than in the other? It is certainly difficult to conceive how the 
ordinary principles of hydrostatics can be so set aside. From the 
quiet character of the eruptions, it is apparent that there was no par- 
oxysmal elevation of the lavas to the sununit; it was a slow and 
gradual result. 

Whatever mode of solving the difficulty be adopted, one conclusion 
is evident, — volcanoes are no safety-halves of the globe^ although often 
so called. 

Assuredly, if, while a vast gulf is open on the banks of Mount Loa, 
lavas still rise and are poured out at an elevation of 10,000 feet above 
it, Kilauea is no safety-valve even to the area covered by the single 
mountain alone. Lf lavas may be ejected from the very lip of Kilauea 
while the pools are still boiling within it several hundred feet below, 
Kilauea, notwithstanding its extent, the size of its great lakes of lava, 
and the freedom of the incessant ebullition, is not a safety-valve that 
can protect its immediate vicinity. How, then, with so limited a pro- 
tecting influence, can it relieve from danger a neighbouring island ? 
How can the narrow conduit of a volcano r^ieve continents from the 
great earthquakes that sometimes traverse their whole extent ? 

Volcanoes are in fact indexes of danger ; they point out those por^ 
tions of the globe which are most subject to convulsions. Earth- 
quakes and eruptions are oflen allied results of the same general 



cause. As the yolcano becomes more actiye, the earthquakes of tha 

region become more frequent ; and the latter cease when quiet follows 
an eruption. This is true, for the very plain reason that the vokaao 
is the source of danger. When it approaches extinction the quiet is 
of longer and longer continuance ; and as it dies out, a region once 
tottering on subterranean fires may finally enjoy the &na stability of 
lands tmit have never been favored with such '* safety-valves." 


*' Yov will see upon my map of New Grenada, in latitude lOO 50^, 
longitude 78o [from Paris?], a place marked volcano. I placed it 
there because it was found on ancient maps, but I had my doubts of 
its existence. I have just returned from visiting it, and have been 
astonished by the phenomena there exhibited. The cape or promon- 
tory of Galera-2iamba formerly extended into the sea without interrup- 
tion to the island of Enea, which formed its extremity. One couli 
then travel three or four leagues by land, and in less than an hour 
after leaving the coast he saw a conical peak, which was a true 
volcano terminated by a crater, from which ^as escaped with suf- 
ficient force to hurl into the air wood thrown mto it. The volcaoo 
from time to time sent forth smoke, which rendered it an object of 
fear to the inhabitants, who dared not approach it. About ten years 
ago, after an eruption accompanied with flames, the earth gradually 
subsided, and the peninsula of Galera-Zamba became an island, so 
that coasting vessels passed through the opening left, which was found 
to be eight or ten metres deep. This was the state of diings at the 
beginning of October, 1848. On October 7, 1848, about two o'clock 
in the morning, a noise was heard which increased rapidly, and at 
once there issued from the sea in the place of the old volcano, a lumi- 
nous sheaf, which lighted up the country for thirty leagues on all 
sides. No showers of ashes were observed, nor was any earthquake 
felt during this eruption, which lasted several days, but with a de- 
creasing intensity. Some days afber the eruption, an island covered 
with sand was observed in the spot where the volcano had been. No 
one dared to land upon it, and in a fevr weeks it subsided. Fish are 
now taken within the ancient crater, showing that there are no de- 
structive exhalations at present. Thus we must add another volcano 
to the list of the active ones, for the volcano of Yamba, which has 
given signs of activity within twelve months, cannot be considered 
extinct." — Col. Acosta, in the Comptes Rendus, November 20. 


A LETTER from Batavia (Java), of the 26 th of September, gives some 
account of a late eruption of Mount Merapia, a volcano in the district 
of Kadoe, believed to be extinct. The eruption began on the morn- 
ing of the 14th of September, during a violent hurricane, and lasted 
until the evening 'of the 17th, that is to say, more than three days. 
The mountain vomited forth gigantic flames and large quantities of 


Stones and ashes. This matter, impelled by the action of the wind, 
was spread through the whole district of Kadoe, and also those of 
Djokjokarta and Surakarta. At seyeral points the soil was covered 
with ashes to the depth of three inches. The river of Blongkeng 
was almost wholly filled up, and it is feared that its waters must 
overflow in the rainy season.' The inhabitants fled, and no life was 
lost ; but the loss of property, including crops of rice, tobacco, and 
indigo, with whole fields of corn, was immense. 



The following observations on the old crater of the volcano Kilauea, 
Sandwich Islands, were communicated to Silliman^s Journal by Rev. 
C. S. Lyman : — '* The old crater is a pit a mile in diameter, and five 
or six hundred feet deep, separated from the present active crater by 
an isthmus of earth, about a quarter of a mile in width. The bottom 
is covered with lava in thick strata, resembling ice in the bottom of 
a pond after the water has been drawn out. This covers an area 
three quarters of a mile in diameter, and rises around the sides of this 
bowl-like concavity some forty or fifty feet above the level of the bot- 
tom. Pnxjecting perpendicularly from the bottom are great numbers 
of stone pillars of various sizes, from one to two feet, and of heights 
from one to twenty feet. These pillars are tubular, and filled with 
charcoal. The origin of these pillars I take to be this. At some 
comparatively recent period, the lava burst out far up the sides of this 
pit, and even upon the neck of land between the two craters, and 
flowed down into the bottom, — at that time a forest, — filling it 
up to the depth of forty or fifty feet with a lake of lava. The lava 
in contact with the trees would be cooled at once into an incasement 
of stone, from two to six inches in thickness, while the rest of the 
mass remained fluid. The trees would of course be almost instantly 
reduced to charcoal, and a crust often a foot or so in thickness must 
have cooled on the surface of the lake. The lake must then have 
been drained oflf subterraneously , while the crust, descending, like the 
ice on a pond when drawn ofif, would be pierced by these solid en- 
casements of the trees, and finally lie scattered over the bottom in 
huge cakes, as ice would among stumps on the bottom of the pond, 
leaving these curious tree-encasements projecting as they now do." — 
SUUman's Journal, March» 


In the Philosophical Magazine, some curious effects of the intersec- 
tion of magnesian limestone beds by dikes of greenstone, occurring in 
the island of Bute, are described by Mr. James Bryce. The limestone 
is rendered saccharine in texture, having a crumbling character adjoin- 
ing the dike, but hard a short distance off. By analysis it was found 
that the unaltered rock contained twenty per cent, of carbonate of 
magnesia, while the part altered by the dike contained only from one 


to three per cent The author inquires, " To what cause are we to 
assign the changes that have taken placet Has the magnesia heen 
sublimed by heat? or has it been withdrawn by the solvent power of 
free carbonic acid ? The subject is one of great interest, both to the 
geologist and chemist, as the facts are directly epposed to the received 
views, and as no instance of similar changes on dolomitic rocks has, 
so fiir as I am aware, been put on record." 


M. Ebelmen, at the conclusion of a memoir on this subject, ex- 
amines one of the most important questions relating to the natural 
history of the globe, — that of the relations which necessarify exist 
between the phenomena of the alteration of rocks, and the composi- 
tion of atmospheric air. ** The different bases which separate from 
the silex by the decomposition of igneous rocks determine, in fact, 
the precipitation, the mineralization of the oxygen and of the carbonic 
acid ; the last element in particular is absorbed in great quantity, and 
a simple calculation shows that a small body of decomposed plutonic 
rocks is sufficient for the complete precipitation of the carbonic acid 
contained in the air. Now, the argillaceous bed of stratified forma- 
tions induces the decomposition of immense masses of plutonic rocks ; 
and, consequently, the precipitation of quantities of carbonic acid out 
of all proportion with those actually existing in the atmosphere. 
This result may be explained without any necessity of admitting that 
the air has possessed, in the different geological epochs, a very differ- 
ent composition from that which it now presents. 

^* I observe in volcanic phenomena," says M. Ebelmen, " the prin- 
cipal cause which restores to the atmosphere the carbonic acid which 
the decomposition of rocks continually precipitates from it. We 
know that this gas is disengaged in abundance from the ground in the 
neighbourhood of active volcanoes, and even from extinct volcanoes. 
It is interesting to witness the formation of igneous rocks, acconn 
panied with the disengagement of a gas, which the destruction of 
these same rocks will precipitate. The central heat of the globe 
will, therefore, be indispensable for the maintenance of organic 10e on 
its surface. The beautiful experiments of Saussure on the influence 
of the carbonic acid of the air on the nourishment of vegetables, are 
no lons^er sufficient to explain the permanence of the composition of 
atmospneric air. We see that phenomena entirely of a different kind 
must be introduced for the solution of the question, and that the 
mineral elements of the crust of the earth likewise concur, by the 
inverse reaction, the one on the other, to produce this equilibrium." 
— L* Institute 


The following interesting facts are from Lieutenant Lynch's Official 
Report of the American Exploring Expedition to the Dead Sea : — 

'' The bottom of the northern part of the Dead Sea is almost flat (a 
plain) . The meridional lines at a short distance from the shore vary but 

6E0L0QT. 237 

little in depth ; the g^atest depth found np to the date of this letter 
(May 3d) y/^s 188 ^thorns, or 1,1^8 English feet. Near the shore 
the bottom is generally a sadine incrustation, but the intermediate por- 
tion is of soft mud, with several rectangular crystals, — most frequent- 
ly cubes of pure salt. On one occasion we obtained only crystals with 
the lead line. 

'' In the same proportion that the north part of the Dead Sea is 
deep, so is the southern part shallow, to the extent that for a quarter 
of its length the depth was found to be but 18 feet. Its southern bed 
presented no crystallizations, but its shores are covered with incrusta- 
tions of salt, and, on landing, the footmarks in an hour's time were 
covered with crystallizations. The shores in face of the peninsula, 
and its western side, present evident marks of destruction. Birds and 
insects are, without doubt, to be found on the shore ; sometimes ducks 
on the sea, for we saw some, but we could fin J no living object in the 
sea. However, the salt sources it receives contain fish belonging to 
the ocean. I feel certain," says Lieutenant Lynch, '* that the result 
of our expedition will confirm to the very letter the history of the Holy 
Land, as regards the sunken cities. « 

*' After the examination of the Dead Sea, the expedition proceeded 
\o determine the height of the mountains, and the level of a plain, 
from Jernsalem to the Mediterranean Sea. They found the summit of 
the western coast of the Dead Sea more than 1,000 feet above its sui^ 
face, and leyel with the Mediterranean. It is a singular fact, that the 
distance from the top to the bottom of the Dead Sea, —that is, the 
height of its shore, — the elevation of the Mediterranean, and the dif- 
ference of the level between the bottom of these two seas, and the 
depth of the Dead Sea, should thus be an exact multiple of the eleva- 
tion of Jerusalem above it. Another fact, not less curious, is, that the 
bottom of the Dead Sea forms two sunken plains, — one elevated, the 
other depressed. The first part, south, is composed of clay or fat 
mud, covered by an artificial bay ; the latter, the upper part, and more 
north,, of mud, incrustations, and rectangular salt crystallizations, ex- 
tending to a great depth, and with a narrow ravine defiling in the 
midst of it, corresponding with the Jordan at one extremity, and Wady 
Seib at the other. 

'^ Mr. Aulick sounded directly across, and found the width of the 
sea by patent log to be a little more than eight geographical, or about 
nine statute miles." 


*' April 26. At nine, the water shoaling, hauled more ofi" shore. 
Soon after, to our astonishment, we saw on the eastern side of Usdeem 
[in the southern part of the sea], one third the distance from its north 
extreme, a lofly round pillar, standing apparently detached from the 
general mass, at the head of a deep, narrow, and abrupt chasm. We 
immediately pulled in for the shore, and Dr. Anderson and I went up 
and examined it. The beach was a soft, slimy mud, incrusted vdth 
salt, and a short distance from the water, covered with saline frag- 


ments and flakes of bitameD. We found the pillar to be of solid salt, 
capped with carbonate of lime, cylindrical in front and p3rramidal be- 
hind. The apper or rounded part is about 40 feet hi|(h, resting on a 
kind of oval pedestal, from 40 to 60 feet above the level of the sea. 
It slightly decreases in size upwards, crumbles at the top, and is one 
entire mass of crystallization. A prop, or buttress, connects it with 
the mountain behind, and the whole is covered with debris of a light 
stone color. Its peculiar shape is doubtless attributable to the action 
of the winter raina A sunilar pillar is mentioned by Josephus, who 
expresses the belief of its being the identical one into which Lot's 
wife was transformed. Clement of Rome, a contemporary of Jose- 
phus, and Ireneus, a writer of the second century, also mention this 
pillar." — Z^ncA'4 Expedition to the Dead Sea. 


No sooner was the conquest of Scinde, India, eiSected, than a geo- 
logical investigation of the newly-acquired province was immediately 
commenced under the orders of Sir Charles Napier. Under his aus- 
pices the exploration of the countries on the right bank of the Indus^ 
mcluding the Hala and Solyman mountains, has been successfully ac- 
complished, and the results communicated to the Royal Greological 
Society of London. By means of copious collections of fossils trana- 
mitted to England, Sir R. L Murchison has ascertained that these 
rocks of the Indus, which extend over the greater part of the Punjaub 
and the valley of Cashmere, belong to the same great nummulitic 
formation which occupies so vast a space in Southern Europe, and 
which, ranging from the Pyrenees and Alps, through Egypt, Asia 
Minor, and Persia, as far as Hindostan, is of the true older tertiary, or 
eocene age. To the north of Delhi, a considerable tract of the sub* 
Himalayan hills, which there skirt the great plain of Hindostan, has 
been explored minutely. The existence of nummulitic rocks, as in 
Scinde and Beloochistan, .was here also developed, overlaid on their 
lower flanks by more recent tertiary deposits, loaded with fossil bones 
of mammalia, tortoises, and crocodiles. 


The following extracts are taken from the recently published 
** Geology of the Exploring Expedition," by Mr. Dana. 

The Pacific Ocean exceeds by ten millions of miles the area of all 
continents and islands on the globe : over this wide void are scattered 
about six hundred and seventy-five islands, whose united area, ex- 
cluding New Zealand, New Caledonia, the Salomons, and a few other 
larffe islands, is only forty thousand square miles (less than the State 
of New York). Yet this small space presents the sublimest and most 
beautiful scenery in the world, and supports the richest tropical vege- 
tation. No native land quadruped, however, is found in the whole 

Most of the islands lie within the tropics, and, in all, the groups are 


arranged in linear directions, like the 8nniTnits«of mountain ranges. 
•* Could we," says our author, *' take a birdseye view over the 6,000 
miles between New Holland and Mexico, we should see some of the 
most extensive mountain chains in the world ; the Samoan, stretching 
over its 3,800 miles, the Hawaiian its 2,000, and others no less re- 
markable, all preserving a systematic regularity which seems even to 
exceed the systematic regularity of continental chains, l^he height of 
summits in these chains, measured from the bottom of the ocean, 
would exceed the most majestic peaks of the Himalaya range. Even 
allowing but three miles for the depth of the sea near Hawaii, 
Mount Loa will stand 30,000 feet above its base." 

The islands of the Pacific are either coral, or basaltic (which in- 
cludes the volcanic), or continental, i. e. of a mixed character, like 
continents. The coral islands number about 290 ; the basaltic about 
350, — not counting the many green spots large enough for a village 
site, or a grove of palms, which occur on the reefs that surround the 
high islands. The principal coral islands are the large archipelago 
northeast of the Society Islands, called the Paumotu group, and the 
Carolines; though there are many single ones scattered over the 
pcean, and reefs of coral about most of the principal islands. 

Coral reefs are barriers of coral rock, varying from a few hundred 
feet to miles in width, extending around other islands, sometimes con- 
tinuously, at others broken, and at irregular distances from shore. 
Generally, there is an outer and an inner reef; these are termed the 
barrier and the fringing reef. The barrier reefs rise usually but a 
little above low-tide level ; sometimes there is shallow water for two 
or three miles beyond them, but more frequently the ocean is un- 
fethomable within a few hundred feet of them. The exposed edge is 
a few inches higher than the general surface, and presents a smooth, 
water-worn appearance, as might be expected from its never-ending 
conflicts with the long surges of the Pacific. Sometimes the outer 
ree& accumulate coral fragments and sand, until the^ widen into 
islands. The coral of the reef rock is not found in its original position 
of 'growth ; it is composed of the debris of coral consolidated by a 
calcareous cement, and often contains, besides corals, shells and fossils 
of the seas where it is found, resembling in appearance the limestone 
of the neighbourhood of Cincinnati and the Falls of the Ohio. 

Within the outer reefs, corals are found growing in their greatest 
perfection. These inner reefe bear great resemblance to the outer in 
structure, though their forms are much less modified by the action of 
the waves. * * There are many regions, — in the Feejees examples are 
common, — where a remote barrier incloses as pure a sea as the ocean 
beyond, and the greatest agitation is only such as the wind may excite 
on a narrow lake or channel." Generally, the rock of these inner 
reefs is composed of coral, which stands as it grew, less fragmentary 
than the outer, but united by a solid cement. Upon its surface the 
limits of the constituent masses maybe often distinctly traced. The 
corals grow underneath the surface in solid hemispheres, but when 
the surface is reached the top dies, and enlargement only goes on at the 
sides. *' Some individual specimens of Porites in the rock of the 


inner reef of Tongatalm were 95 feet in diameter ; and Astreas and 
Meandrinas, both there and in the Feejees, measured IS to 15 feet." 

Sometimes the barrier reef recedes from the shore, and forms wide 
channels or inland seas where ships find ample room and depth o[ 
water, exposed, however, to the danger of hidden reefe. The reef on 
the northeast coast of New Holland and New Caledonia extends 400 
miles, at a distance varying from 30 to 60 miles from shore, and hav- 
ing as many fathoms of depth in the channel. West of the large 
Feejee Islands the channel is in some parts 95 miles wide, and 12 to 
40 fathoms in depth. The sloop-of-war Peacock sailed along the 
west coast of both Viti Lebu and Yanua Lebu, within the inner reeft, 
a distance exceeding 200 miles. 

A barrier reef, inclosing a lagoon, is the general formation of the 
coral islands, though there are some of small size in which the lagoon 
is wanting. These are found in all stages of development ; in some 
the reef is narrow and broken, forming a succession of narrow islets 
with openings into the lagoon ; in others there only remains a depres- 
sion of surface in the centre to indicate where the lagoon originally 
was. The most beautiful are those where the lagoon is completely 
inclosed, and a quiet lake rests within. 

These islands evidently rise abruptly out of the unfathomable depths 
of the ocean, for, in speaking of one of them, Mr. Dana says, — " Seven 
miles east of Clermont Tonnere, the lead ran out to 1,145 fathoms 
(6,870 feet) without reaching bottom. Within three quarters of a 
mile of the southern point of this island^ the lead, at another throw, 
after running out for a while, brought up an instant at 350 fathoms, 
and then dropped off again and descended to 600 fathoms without 
reaching bottom." Several similar soundings are recorded by Mr. 

Another peculiarity of them is the small amount they present of 
habitable surface. They are but narrow and often interrapted borders, 
just cutting out a certain part of the ocean. In the Marshall Islands 
the dry land is not more than the one hundredth part of the whole ; 
and in the Pescadores the proportion of land to the whole area is about 
1 to 200. The lagoons are generally shallow, though in the larger 
islands soundings gave 20 to 35, and even 50 and 60 fathoms. 

Mr. Dana gives full descriptions of the various species of coral 
Eoophytes, their mode and probable time of growth, &c., most of 
which present few facts susceptible of condensation. One error, how- 
ever, it may be well to insert his correction of. The coral is not 
built by the polypi, but is simply the natural secretion which belongs 
to them, as the shell of the oyster does to it. It is not, however, a 
shell for defence into which the animal withdraws itself, it being 
formed entirely within its living and fleshly part. There are polypi 
which secrete no lime or coral, in every other respect similar to those 
which do. They grow upon rocks, and are provided with tentacula to 
secure their food. They increase by buds which shoot out from their 
sides. In coral formations the buds spread out so thickly as to stop 
the life within, and hence, as the process goes on, all is dead mass, 
except just at the surface. The most extensive family of these zoo- 


phytes eoD6titotes in aoieooe the order of Actinoidea, a name given on 
account of their radiated or star-like shape. All the varieties are 
found in the greatest luxuriance in the waters of the Feejee group. 
None were found growing deeper than 20 fathoms. 

Mr. Dana mentions the various, theories which have heen proposed 
to account for the form and origin of these coral islands, but that 
adopted by him is the one advocated by Dr. Darwin. He supposes 
the peculiar form of the reefs to arise from their being built around 
heights of land, which, by some change in the economy of nature, has 
gradually subsided. If we suppose a large island or continent to sink, 
80 that the mountains should only remain above the surface, they 
will, it is clear, form islands, around which the coral zoophyte, which 
never vegetates below 30 fathoms, will begin its fringe or reef. Let 
the change of level go on as before, the land, year by year, becoming 
more and more submerged, and the reefs will draw inwards around 
the high peaks, and finally, as they go under, will still remain a ring 
above them with a lagoon ; for the animal could not work in the mid- 
dle until the whole was submerged, and even then prefers the open 
ocean. This process going on for ages, so satisfactorily explains all 
the peculiarities of form found in the coral islands, that it is not easy 
to avoid the belief that this is the true supposition. 

Leaving the coral islands, Mr. Dana next speaks of the Hawaiian 
group, and his account of them is no less interesting than that of the 
coral islands. 

The eight islands of the Hawaiian group lie between 19 and 221^ 
north latitude. They are Hawaii, Maui, Kahoolawe, Lauai, Molokai^ 
Oahu, Kauai, and Nichau. They extend in a ourv^ line 400 miles, 
and, including the small islets of Necker and Bird, and some coral 
reefs which properly belong to them, nearly 2,000 miles. They 
would appear to be Uie summits of two parallel ranges of mountains 
or volcanic centres, of which the volcanoers Mount iLoa and Mount 
Kea, in Hawaii, are the southeastern extremities. These mountains 
are of nearly equal heights ; Loa, according to the measurements of 
the expedition, is 13,760 feet above half-tide ; Kea, 13,950. Mount 
Hualalai, on the same island, is about 10,000 feet. On Maui, next to 
the west, Haleakala 10,217 feet, and Eeka 6,130 feet. Oahu has two 
ranges 4,000 feet, and the summit of Kaui is 8,000 feet, 
f Hawaii is nearly triangular in form, its three sides fronting west 85 
miles, southwest 65, and northwest 75 miles ; its area is 3,£^ square 
miles. Its whole surface is made up of the cones of its three moun- 
tains, whose slopes are so gentle that the eye scarcely perceives their 
altitude. In a tour around the island Mr. Dana found the surface to 
consist chiefly of broad fields of various leaves covered sometimes with 
a thin soil and dwarf forests, and with occasionally intervening patohes 
under cultivation where the natives raise taro and yams. Sometimes 
the lava would be smooth and solid, at others, in fields of scoria and 
lava in immense masses heaped together in the wildest confusion. 
These are called clinker fields ^ and are caused by the lava in its flow 
melting some obstruction, and cooling and hardening on the surface ; 
then bursting out afresh and rending the crust into fragments, — like 



the breaking^ up of ice in the spriDg, but on a much grander scale, the 
Btream of lava being five or ten miloB in "width, and in place of smooth 
ice, shaggy heaps of black scoria many yards in thickness. These 
clinker districts are often several miles in breadth, and upon some of 
them the whole horizon around is one wide waste of gray and black 
desolation beyond the power of words to describe. In the winter 
Mount Kea is covered with snow, while Loa, owing probably to the 
internal fire, is almost bare. 


Among the discoveries in science recently made on this side of the 
ocean is one which has excited much attention and interest among 
geologists and navigators ; we mean the tide-theory of Lieutenant Davis, 
IJ. S. N., first presented at the meeting of the American Association 
for the Promotion of Science, in September, 1848. The following 
sketch of the principal results at which Lieutenant Davis has arrived 
^was prepared by Mr. Desor, for SiUiman^s Journal. 

The eastern coast of the United States is bordered throughout its 
whole extent by a line of sand-banks and islands of various forms and 
outlines, but very uniform in their mineralogical character, being com- 
posed of a very fine white and quartzose sand. On the coasts of the 
Southern States, they form a line of low islands, separated from the 
coast by a series of lagoons, which give a peculiar character to the 
navigation of those districts. 

Higher up, on the southern coasts of New England, they occur as 
submarine ridges, parallel to the coast, and separated from each other 
by wide channels. Farther north, these deposits are more extensive, 
and form vast submarine plateaus, such as the St. George's and New- 
foundland Banks. Finally, deposits analogous to these are formed at 
the bottom of bays, but in a state of more complete trituration. 
These are known under the name of flats, 

Mr. Davis, after having devoted several years to the study of these 
various species of banks, has arrived at this result : that their forms^ 
extent, and distribution are principaify determined by tides ; ' — the wind 
and the waves playing but a subordinate part in their formation. One 
of the first points on which Mr. Davis insists is the relation that ex- 
ists between the strength of tides and the distribution of sand-banks. 
On both sides of the Atlantic we invariably find sand-banks roost nu- 
merous where the tides are slight, or where their force is exhausted after 
having been considerable. Mr. Davis accounts for this in the foUow- 
ing manner: — According to the researches of Mr. Whewell, the 
tidal wave, on entering the Atlantic Ocean, passes onward in the form 
of an arc ; the convexity of which is turned toward the north. In its 
progress northward, this wave strikes against the coasts of the two 
continents of Africa and America. From this shock proceed the vari- 
ous local currents which are designated under the name of tidal cur- 
rents, the direction and rapidity of which are determined by the shape 
of the coasts. Their rapidity is, in general, in proportion to the di- 
rectness of the obstacles opposing them, and the nairowness of the 

GEOLoar, 243 

chaimels through which they run. These tidal carrents, in running 
with great rapidity along a coast, raise up and carry with them the 
movable deposits and the detritus of all sorts which the waves and 
atmospheric forces have detached from the beaches. These currents, 
however, soon lose their force, unless new obstacles come in their 
way ; and in proportion as they abate, the substances held suspended 
begin to be deposited. Any inequality of the bottom is then sufficient 
to form the nucleus or point of departure of a sand-bank, the direction 
of which will be parallel to that of the current. Such, for instance, is 
the origin of the narrow banks bordering the island of Nantucket, and 
known under the names of Bass Rip, Great Rip, South Shoal, &c. 

But the most favorable conditions for the formation of sand deposits 
exist where the tidal current, after passing a promontory, is deflected 
laterally into a wide bay, where it can expand freely. Not only the 
heavy materials, but also the more minute particles, are then deposited 
at the bottom of the bay ; no longer under the form of narrow ridges, 
but as broad continuous strata or flats, generally composed of very fine 
sand, or of calcareous mud, where the deposit takes place in the neigh- 
bourhood of coral reefs. This is the reason why the most extensive 
and regular deposits are found at the bottom of wide bays. Cape Cod 
Bay, on the coast of Massachusetts, is cited by Mr. Davis as an ex- 
ample of this mode of deposition. On the contrary, when the bay is 
narrow, as ike fiords of Norway, or when it lies in the direction of the 
current, so as to allow the tide to rush in without obstacle and rise to 
a great height, as, for instance, the Bay of Fundy, the ebb and flood 
are too violent, and occasion too rapid currents to allow the water to 
deposit any of the materials which it holds suspended. Hence it is, 
that such bays are generally without sand-banks, unless it be in their 
lateral coves. 

A remarkable phenomenon takes place when the tidal current flows 
with a moderate rapidity along a coast, so as to deposit a bank of sand 
against the cliffs. In • this case, it is not unusual to see the bank 
stretching out into the sea, but, instead of following the direction of the 
coast, it inclines, from the pressure from without, towards the interior 
of the bay, so as to describe a bend, which the seamen of this country 
call a Hook, Sandy Hook, in the bay of New York, is of this char- 
acter. Such, also, are the Hook of Cape Cod and the Hook of Hol- 
land. The direction of the Hook is invariably that of the current. 

The coasts of Europe offer numerous examples of these various 
forms of alluvial deposits. Lines of narrow banks, like those on the 
coasts of New Jersey and the Carolinas, occur on the southwestern 
shores of France. On the northwestern coasts of France sand-banks 
are rare, but no sooner do we quit the Channel, than we find them 
scattered through the North Sea. Holland is, itself, formed in a great 
measure of alluvial sand. These deposits are formed precisely on 
the spot most favorable to the formation of alluvial deposits, namely, 
where the tidal current, having passed through the Channel, enters the 
vast basin of the North Sea. 

Considered in their general connection, the alluvial deposits of a 
continent should be looked upon as the product of a series of currents 


and eddies alternating with each other, the final result of which is to 
transport, in the direction of the flood, the movable materiala which 
the waves and atmospheric agents have detached from the coast- 
beaches. This is particularly striking on the coast of the United 
States. The alluvial deposits form, at first, only a narrow line on the 
ooast of Florida ; this line enlarges insensibly on the coasts of the 
Carolinas, Virginia, and New Jersey ; it becomes wider on the coast 
of Massachusetts, and finally attains the maximum of development in 
the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. 

This process is of the highest importance in the economy of nature, 
if we consider that the banks thus formed are the principal seats of 
animal life in the ocean. It is upon the banks which border the coast 
of the United States that the most important fisheries are carried on, 
because these are the abodes of myriads of invertebrate animals (worms, 
mollusks, and zoophytes) , which serve for the food of fishes, while the 
great depths of the ocean, at a short distance from the banks, are al- 
most deserts. 

The tides are not less important, from the manner in which they in- 
fluence river-deposits. Hitherto, the formation of deltas, such as 
those of the Mississippi, the Nile, the Orinoco, and other rivers, has 
been attributed too exclusively to the great quantities of mud which 
these rivers transport It seems to be forgotten that other rivers, such 
as the Amazon, the Rio de la Plata, the Delaware, and others, are not 
less muddy, and yet, instead of forming deltas at their mou^s, they 
empty into wide bays. 

Mr. Davb, on the contrary, shows that deltas are in an inverse 
ratio to the tides, so that they exist only where the tides are feeble 
or null ; whilst we find estuaries wherever the tides are consider- 
able. Take, for example, the rivers of the eastern coast of the 
United States, and most of the rivers of Europe which empty into 
the Atlantic Ocean. And this is perfectly natural. The tide, on 
entering a river, accumulates during the flood; and keeps back the 
water of the stream, so that when the ebb begins, the water in es- 
caping forms a current strong enough to carry <^ to sea the principal 
part of the materials held suspended in the river-water. Mr. Davis 
remarks on this point, that, where bars exist in such estuaries, they 
are generally composed of sea-sand brought by the tide, and not of 
fluviatile deposits. 


In applying the principles of the tide-theory of Mr. Davis to the 
study of the deposits of former geological epochs, Mr. Despr states, 
*' that it is easy to *show, by a geological map of the United States, 
that the same laws which now regulate the deposition of sand-banks 
have been in operation during the diluvial, tertiary, and cretaceous 
epochs ; the deposits of those epochs forming so many parallel zones 
successively following the great backbone of the AUeghanies. 

*' The diluvial deposits, in Europe as well as in America, merit a 
special attention in this respect. No donbt, during the diluvial 

GBOtOGT. 245 

epochs, the plains of Northern Germany as well as a great part of 
Scandinayia, and, on this continent, the coast of the United States, 
from Florida to Canada, formed a series of banks and shoals like the 
Banks of Newfoundland in our day, whilst the plains of the West, 
between the Alleghanies and the Rocky Mountains, formed a vast bay, 
comparable to the Gulf of Mexico, in which the sea deposited the 
fine sand and clay of the prairies, as it now deposits in the Gulf of 
Mexico the sand and mud that border the coast of Texas." 

In conclusion, Mr. Desor remarks, that the sedimentary deposits of 
the most recent geological epochs, being, in all respects, like the 
alluvial deposits of our day, it is probable that they were formed un- 
der the operation of the same laws ; and that the form and extent of 
continents, so far as they are composed of sedimentary deposits, are 
thus dependent on astronomical laws, that is, on the attraction 
which the sun and moon exert, and in all time have exerted, on the 
, liquid part of our planet. 



At a meeting of the American Academy, February, 1849, Mr. 
Foster, of the United States Mineral Survey in the Northwest Ter- 
ritory, presented the result of some observations undertaken with a 
view of determining whether the waters of the Northern lakes are 
subject to any movements corresponding to tidal action. The result 
of these observations had convinced him that these waters do not rise 
and fall at stated periods, corresponding to the ebb and flow of the 
tide, but are subject to extraordinary risings, which are independent 
of the influence of the sun and moon. These risings attracted the 
attention of the earliest voyageurs in these regions. Charlevoix, who 
traversed the lakes nearly a century ago, says, in reference to Lake 
Ontario, — ''I observed that in this lake there is a sort of reflux 
and flux, almost instantaneous ; the rocks near the banks being cov- 
ered with water and uncovered again several times in the space of a 
quarter of an hour, even if the surface of the lake was very calm, 
with scarce a breath of air. After reflecting some time on this ap- 
pearance, I imagined it was owing to springs at the bottom of the lake, 
and to the shock of their currents with those of the rivers which fall into 
them from all sides, and thus produce those intermitting motions. ' ' The 
same movements were noticed by Mackenzie, in 1789 ; by an expe- 
dition under Col. Bradstreet, in 1764 ; on Lake Erie in 1823, and at 
various later periods. In the summer of 1834 an extraordinary retro- 
cession of the waters of Lake Superior took place at the outlet of 
Sault St. Marie. The river at this place is nearly a mile wide, and 
in the distance of a mile falls 18.5 feet. The phenomena occurred 
about noon. The day was calm, but cloudy. The water retired sud- 
denly, leaving the bed of the river bare, except for a distance of thirty 
rods, and remained so for nearly an hour. Persons went out and 
caught flsh in pools formed in the depressions of the rocks. The return 
of the waters is represented as having being very grand. They came 

21 • 


down like an iramenae snrgv, and so sadden was it, that those encaged 
in catching fish had barely time to escape being OTerwhelmed. In the 
summer of 1647, on one occasion, the water rose and fell, at intervals 
of about fifteen minutes, during an entire afternoon. The variation 
was from twelve to twenty inches, the day being calm and clear ; but 
the barometer was falling. Before the expiration of forty-eight hours, 
a violent gale set in. At Copper Harbour, the ebb and flow of the 
water through narrow inlets and estuaries has been repeatedly noticed 
when there was not a breath of wind on the lake. Similar phenomena 
occur on several of the Swiss lakes. Professor Mather, who ob- 
served the barometer at Copper Harbour during ooe of these fluctu- 
ations, remarks : — *' As a general thing, fluctuations in the barometer 
adoompanied fluctuations in the level of the water ; but sometimes the 
wateivlevel varied rapidly in the harbour while no such variations oc- 
curred in the barometer at the place of observation." 

As a general rule, these variations in the water-level indicate the 
approach of a storm, or a disturbed state of the atmosphere. The 
barometer is not sufficiently sensitive to indicate the sudden elevations 
and depressions, recurring, as they often do, at intervals of ten or twelve 
minutes ; and the result of observations at such times may, in some 
degree, be regarded as negative. Besides, it may not unfrequently 
happen, that, while effects are witnessed at the place of observation, 
the cause which produced them may be so far removed as not to in- 
fluence the barometer. We are, therefore, led to infer that these 
phenomena result, not from the prevalence of the winds acting on the 
water, accumulating it at one point and depressing it at others, but 
from sudden and local changes in the pressure of the atmosphere, 
giving rise to a series of barometric waves. The water, conforming 
to the laws which govern two fluids thus relatively situated, would 
accumulate where the pressure was the least, and be displaced where 
it was the greatest. It has been remarked by De la Beche, that a 
sudden impulse given to the particles of water, either by a suddenly 
increased or diminished pressure, would cause a perpendicular rise or 
fall, in the manner of a wave, beyond the height or depth strictly due 
to tlie mere weight itself. The diflTerence in the specific gravity of 
the water of the lakes and the ocean may cause these changes to be 
more marked in the former than in the latter. 


Mr. Augustus Petermann, in a paper read to the Geographical 
Society of London, communicates some interesting facts, which, he 
says, are " the result of laborious researches." "The fall of a river 
influences in part the velocity or force of its current, but not to such 
an extent that the rate of fall can be taken as a scale for the rate of 
the velocity and force of the current. We call the Danube, the Rhine, 
and the Elbe very rapid rivers, and they only exhibit a fall of 1 and 
3 feet per mile ; but we should not place the Tweed in the same rank 
of velocity, but in the lower part of its course it has an average fall 
of 8 feet, and yet it is freely navigated by small boats, whUe the 

OEOLOor. 247 

descent of only 2 feet in the Danube presents the gieatest obstacles to 
navigation. It is obvious, therefore, that in treating of the fall of 
rivers, their depth and vndth should also be taken into the account." 
The River Dee, during the last 72 miles of its course, falls 1,190 feet, 
or about 16j^ feet to the mile, on an average ; but it has not a single 
waterfall or decided n4>id. The Severn and the Shannon are much 
alike in magnitude, but in a distance of 213 miles the latter descends 
161 feet, while the former, in 210 miles, descends 465 feet, thus giv- 
ing to the Shannon an average fell of 9 inches per mile, and to the 
Severn one of 26i inches. Yet the Severn has no rapids or fells, 
while the Shannon, with an average fall of one third less, forms some 
magnificent rapids, which are the boast of Great Britain. Again, the 
Xweed and Clyde are of about the same magnitude ; the former is 96 
miles long, and its total fall is 1,500 feet ; and the latter is 98 miles 
long, with 1,400 feet of fall. At one point these two rivers are in the 
same plain, and less than seven miles apart, yet the Tweed pursues 
its course to the sea evenly and gently, while the Clyde has not 
parted with its former companion for a greater distance than 18 miles, 
before it dashes over falls whose total descent is 230 feet — Jameson^ s 
Jaumalf Oct, 


Mr. E. C. Cabot read a paper, giving an account of some researches 
he had made, in company with Mr. Desor, to determine the feet of 
the constant presence of fresh water in dune sand and sand-spits. 
These researches were conducted at Cape Cod, which they visited in 
the United States steamer Bibb, under the command of Lieut. Davis, 
with whose assistance they were made. In every instance where 
there vras a body of sand above the tide-level, with salt water on 
opposite sides, or entirely surrounding it, fresh water vras discovered 
on digging to a moderate depth. On the island of Monomoy, fresh 
water was found at a depth of two feet. On the beach at the line of 
high water, it was obtained almost on the surfece. The same fact 
was observed on Sandy Neck, a lonsf sand-peninsula, which separates 
Barnstable Bay from Barnstable Harbour. This is particularly re- 
markable, as good water is very scarce in the town of Barnstable, on 
the main land directly opposite. In this town is a well, about 150 
feet from the shore, in which the water rises and falls with the tide, 
although only through a space of a foot and a half. As yet Mr. C. 
had not been able to satisfy himself whether the amount of rise and 
fall in wells showing this sympathy with tidal fluctuations, depends 
upon their distance from the salt water or not. Since making these 
observations, he had noticed that such a rise and fall is not limited to 
wells in a natural formation. He had observed that, in loose deposits 
of an artificial chs^racter, in the vicinity of salt water, they also occur, 
as he had seen in several of the new streets of Boston, where at high 
tide trenches were found to contain fresh water, but were empty at 
low tide. An interesting inquiry suggests itself, as to the origin of 
these deposits of fresh water in such loose soil. They cannot be 


derived from springe, for these occur distinct from them, in the same 
formations, and present peculiar characters of their own, often bub- 
biing out from the sur&ce of the sand, even below the line of high- 
water on beaches. It might be supposed that they are the result, in 
Sart, of a filtration of the salt water through the sand. To test this, 
Ir. Cabot poured a quantity of salt water through sand, and found 
that it lost two per cent, of its specific gravity ; a curious and unex- 
pected result, but not sufficient fully to explain the case. On the 
whole, he was inclined to accept the opinion of Mr. Mather, that these 
supplies of fresh water are derived from rains, and are prevented from 
oozing out laterally, by the pressure of the neighbouring salt water. 
As this advances, it recedes, and its level rises ; as the tide goes out, 
it follows, and its level is depressed. The practical result from these 
investigations is, that it will undoubtedly be found that, in all deposits 
of sand like those examined by Mr. Cabot, an abundant supply of 
fresh water may be obtained at all times, -— a fact of great importance 
to mariners. 

These observations induced some discussion, in the course of which 
Mr. Ajrea said, that he knew an instance of a sand-bank, 8 feet high, 
formed within his recollection, in which fresh water might be obtained 
at the depth of eighteen inches. At Sag Harbour there is a well 
about 40 rods from the tide, in which the water rises and falls 4 feet a 
little after the tide. A little farther from the shore is another, which 
rises and falls 2 feet, while another varies 1 foot, and one still farther 
from the shore is not sensibly afiTected. 

Dr. Pickering mentioned that, in the coral islands of the Pacific, 
the natives obtain fresh water by a slight excavation. The President 
said, that in Boston there are some wells situated so high, that it is 
impossible to account for their water by the supply afforded by rains 
alone. It would seem, therefore, that it must have been brought by 
underground currents, perhaps from a great distance, following the 
course of an impervious underlying stratum. 

At a later meeting, Mr. Cabot mentioned some experiments made 
to ascertain the cause of the non-intermingling of salt water with 
fresh, in dune sand. Having nearly filled a vessel with salt water, 
he immersed in it a large sponge saturated with fresh water, con- 
taining, imbedded in it, perpendicular tin tubes, with perforated 
sides. The external pressure caused water to appear in these tubes, 
and to rise to the level of the surrounding fluid. After standing 
some hours, the water in these tubes was found to be 'fresh. On 
reversing the experiment, placing the sponge full of fresh water first 
in the vessel, and gradually filling the surrounding space with salt 
water, the same result followed. Capillary attraction seemed to be 
the force which kept the different fluids apart. With regard to the 
diflference between fresh water in dune sand and springs, Mr. Cabot 
said that he did not consider it an essential one. In the former case, 
the water formed, so to speak, a homogeneous spring ; in the latter, 
underlying strata and lateral boundaries limited it, and gave it the 
character of a current. — Proc. Boston Nat, Hist. Society. 

GBOL007. 249 


At one of the meetings of the Boston Natural History Society, 
Dr. Cabot stated, that, during a recent visit to the east end of Long 
Island, he had made some interesting observations on the formation of 
the fresh-water ponds by the closing up of the entrances to inlets from 
the sea. He mentioned one, which is from four to six miles in cir- 
cumference, and separated from the sea by a sand-beach about twenty 
rods wide. Within the memory of those now living it was an open 
strait, but its waters axe now entirely fresh, and contain fresh-water 
animals and plants. Within twenty years oysters could be obtained 
here, and their shells are still abundant. In the same vicinity are 
many other similar ponds, and in many cases the process may now be 
seen going on. The sea washes up a sand-bar across a bay, and in 
time stops the entrance. It is an interesting question, how the water 
in these ponds becomes changed from salt to fresh. 

This statement gave rise to some discussion, in the course of which 
it was remarked, Uiat the change in the water might, perhaps, be ac- 
counted for by supposing that all the water originally inclosed had 
percolated through the sandy bottom, and its place had been supplied 
by rains and neighbouring springs. 


In the recent work of Sir R. I. Murchison on the Greology of 
Russia, he mentions a remarkable ice-cave, situated not far from 
Orenburg. It is at the base of a hillock of gypsum, at the eastern 
end of a village connected with the imperial establishment, and is one 
of a series of apparently natural hollows used by the peasants for 
cellars or stores. It possesses the remarkable property of being partly 
filled with ice in the summer^ and totally destitute thereof in winter, 

'* Standing," says the author, " on the heated ground, and under 
a broiling sun, I shall never forget my astonishment, when the woman 
to whom the cavern belonged opened a frail door, and a volume of air 
so piercingly keen struck the legs and feet, that we were glad to rush 
into a cold bath in front of us to equalize the effect ! We afterwards 
subjected the whole body to the cooling process by entering the cave, 
wbich is on a level with the street. At three or four paces from the 
door, on which shone the glaring sun, we were surrounded by half- 
froEen qitass and the provisions of the natives. The roof of the cav- 
ern hung with solid undripping icicles, and the floor might be called a 
stalagmite of ice and frozen earth. We were glad to escape in a few 
minutes from this ice-bound prison, so long had our frames been ac- 
customed to a powerful heat." The cold in this cavern is invariably 
the greatest inside when the air is the hottest outside. As soon as 
winter sets in the ice disappears, and in mid-winter the peasants as- 
sured the travellers that the cave was of so genial a temperature, that 
they could sleep in it without their sheepskins. At the very period 
when Sir R. I. Murchison visited it, the thermometer was 90 degrees in 
the shade ; yet a single plank was the division between a burning sun 


and a freezing vault ! The cave is about 10 naoea long, and 10 feet' 
high. It has a vaulted roof, in which great nssures open, which ap- 
pear to communicate with the body of the hillock. Saussure long 
ago gave the clew to the real exposition of this paradoxical phenome- 
non ; and Professor Pictet, following it out, has satisfactorily demon- 
strated that it is a beautiful example of a practical illostration in na- 
ture of that first principle in chemistry, — evaporation produces cold. 
It is well known to the geological student, that, in certain mines which 
have a horizontal gallery terminating in a vertical shaft communicating 
with the atmosphere, a current of air in summer descends the vertical 
shaft, and emerges from the horizontal ; while in winter the current 
sets in at the horizontal, and issues from the vertical shaft. The ar- 
rangement of this cave is very similar. Thus the cave is the horizon- 
tal, and the vertical shaft lies in the mass of the hill. Suppose, then, 
the mean temperature of the hill to be about 48 or 50 degrees. The 
descending summer current passing through the channels in the hill 
evaporates the water it meets with in its progress, and so rapidly as 
to become colder in its descent ; until, reaching the cave, it is even be- 
low 32 degrees, and there freezes the water collected in it. The hot- 
ter the air outside, the greater the destruction of equilibrium between 
the interior and exterior columns, which communicate at their base in 
the cave ; consequently, the more rapid and intense the evaporation, 
the more severe the measure of cold produced. '* This view," says 
Sir R. I. Murchison, " is supported by reference to the climate of 
the plains of Orenburg, in which there is great wetness of the spring 
caused by melting of the snow, succeeded by an intense and dry 
Asiatic heat." 


Lieut. Strachey, of the British army, has made some very exten- 
sive observations on the snow-line of the Himalaya. By the term 
snovhUne should be understood the lower limit of perpetual snow, that 
is, the highest limit to which the snow recedes in Uie course of the 
year, or the boundary-line of the snow which resists the effect of sum- 
mer. In describing one portion of his observations he says, '* I con- 
clude, then, that 15,500 feet should be assigned as the mean elevation 
of the snow-hne at the southern limit of the belt of perpetual snow in 
Kumaon, though this will be rather under than above the fact." At 
the head of the Pindur, near the glacier from which that river issues, 
he considers that the ground was free from snow in situ up to a height 
of 15,000 or even 16,000 feet in October. With reference to the 
snow-line in the northern part of the chain of mountains, he thinks 
that 18,500 feet must be nearly the average height, at least on the 
Jainti ridge. These observations were mostly confined to that por- 
tion of the Himalaya lying between the northwestern frontier of 
Kipal and the River Sutlej ; that is, extending from about the 77th to 
the 81st degree of east longitude, while the breadth from the plains of 
India on the south to those of Thibet on the north is about 120 miles. 
— Jameson^ s Journal^ October, 

6&0L06T. 251 


Lieut. B. Strache7 communicated to the Asiatic Society of Ben- 
gal an account of some observations made by him on the motion of 
the glacier of the Pindur. He made use of a theodolite, with a tele- 
scope and stakes placed on the glacier and on both sides of it. He 
found that between noon on May 21st and 8 A. M. on May 25th) the 
stake on the west moraine of the glacier had advanced 1 foot 9i 
inches, on the medial moraine 2 feet 9| inches, near the iniddle of the 
clear ice 3 feet 1 inch, and on the eastern moraine 1 foot 5| inches. 
The mean motion of the clear ice in twenty-four hours was 10 inches 
in the upper part, and 9.4 in the lower. The elevation of the foot of 
the glacier is 11,929 feet above the level of the sea, and the slope of 
the surface of the glacier is about 7i^ degrees. 


It is known that the Artesian well at Charleston ha& now reached a 
depth of 850 feet without finding water. Many despair of a success- 
ful result, but Professor Brumliy, of South Carolina College, who 
has taken great interest in the undertaking, thinks that water will 
soon be reached. It was the impression of Professor Tuomey that 
the buhrstone sands were water-bearing strata, but in this he seems 
to have been mistaken, for they have been passed, and cretaceous 
limestones discovered, which present no obstacle but their thickness, 
for in all cases. Professor Brumley says, so far as his knowledge ex- 
tends, a distinct series of thick sands and gravels underlie the creta- 
ceous limestones and marls. These must be passed, therefore, before 
the prospect of ultimate success can be regarded as hopeless. 

It is worthy of remark, that the same obstacle was encountered in 
Paris. There, too, the tertiary overlie the cretaceous strata, — both 
series enormously thick, and separated by beds of sand, ^c, the 
equivalent of our Buhrstone. These beds of sand were expected to 
yield abundance of water. In this expectation the projectors of the 
undertaking were disappointed, and it was, for a time, abandoned. 
The work was subsequently renewed, the cretaceous limestones were 
perforated, the sand-beds were reached, and then the water rose, high 
above the surface, with such violence as to cause at first a serious 

The only real obstacle to be apprehended, therefore, is the thick- 
ness of the cretaceous limestones and marls, under the city. On this 
subject, of course, we have no positive knowledge. The strata at 
Charleston are concealed from view, and cannot be directly meas- 
ured. But we can make an approximate estimate, on which an opin- 
ion may be safely predicated. The cretaceous limestones, constitut- 
ing one continuous series from New Jersey to the Mississippi Valley, 
have been carefully studied by geologists, in many places, either 
where they rise to the surface, so exposed as to be susceptible of 
measurement, or where they have been perforated by Artesian wells. 

These investigations have shown that they vary in thickness from 


100 to 1,000 feet, and that they are thicker and much moTe exteDsive 
in the Western than in the Atlantic States. Yet in Alabama the 
Artesian wells (not less than 500 in number) rarely exceed 600 feet. 
True, the strata vary considerably in thickness in different prominent 
localities. Thus, on two adjacent plantations, one man's well may be 
only 400, while his neighbour's is 500 feet deep. Still the average 
thickness is, as has just been stated, pretty accurately known, and 
does not exceed 600 feet. This induces me to believe, as the auger 
is known to (tave penetrated the strata several feet, perhaps fifty or 
more, that the city well can, in no event, exceed 1,500 feet, and that 
water will probably be obtained at a much less depths 

It will be necessary, however, to tube the well from top to bottom ; 
otherwise the water, passing through such an extent of limestones 
and marls, impregnated with soluble saline substances, will be very 


An English company have leased the celebrated silver mines of 
Guadalcanal, in Seville, in Spain, which have been under water for 
a period of 150 years. Before that time they produced to the Span- 
ish government JE^ 100,000 per annum, in duties alone; and from the 
proceeds of these the palace of the Escurial was built. They were 
the property of the Fuchars, rich contractors ; who, not satisfied with 
the enormous wealth they derived firom them, secretly took away the 
ores from a new lode they discovered, without giving notice to the 
government, and, to prevent imprisonment and confiscation, they let 
the water into the mine, — and for 150 years they have remained in 
the state in which they were thus left by them. About six months 
ago, however, the mines were purchased by an English company on 
the most advantageous terms, and the draining of them has already 
been commenced. The depth of the mines is about 120 fathoms. 
The work is under the superintendence of Mr. Harvey, the chief 
engineer employed in draining the Haarlem Lake in Holland. — Lon- 
don AthencEwn, 



These mines, which are situated near Bristol, have been knovni for 
some time, but they have of late excited much interest among capital- 
ists and scientific men, and there are now over 300 men at work in 
them. Prof. Silliman is of the opinion that they extend over thirty 
miles south of Bristol, and that if thoroughly worked they would give 
employment to 30,000 miners, while many others consider that they 
can be made the most profitable mines in the United States. — Farmer 
and Mechanic. 

Another extensive copper mine has just been opened at Litchfield, 
South Farms. Prof. Hubbard of Yale College has examined the 
mine and made a highly favorable report of its value and location. 
We understand that the developments thus far made show this mine 

6E0L06T. 253 

to be far superior to that at Bristol, which, last year paid a net profit 
of $ 120,000, and is growing better and richer every foot that it in- 
creases in depth. — Bridgeport Farmer, January 8. 


M. BuRAT, in a paper in the Annales des Mines, '' On the Continuity 
of Metalliferous Deposits in Depth," observes: — The only promi- 
nent facts >vhich may be cited as discoveries of the nineteenth century, 
are, — 1st. The washings of the auriferous sands of the Ural, which 
have increased to an annual produce of more than 10,000 kilograms 
of gold ; * 2d. The copper mines wrought in the island of Cuba, in 
the neighbourhood of Santiago, which were opened in 1833, on the old 
works, and now send 40,000 tons of the mineral to Swansea ; 3d. 
The calamine mines of Belgium and Rhenish Prussia, which, from a 
produce scarcely worth naming, now yield 12,000,000 kilograms of 
zinc ; 4th. The lead mines of Missouri and Illinois, the importance 
of which is not yet appreciated, but which, it is said, would produce 
30,000,000 kilograms of lead ; 5th. The copper mines of Lake 
Superior, the working of which is projected on a large scale. To 
these, says Prof. Jameson, we may add the very productive mines of 
red copper ore, and green and blue malachite, of Bura-Bura, in Aus- 
tralia. And, also, the gold washings on the Sacramento River, in Alta 


At the late meeting of the British Association, Sir R. L Murchi- 
son drew attention to the distribution of gold over the surface of the 
elobe, and to a comparison between the auriferous deposits of the 
Ural Mountains and California. As the result of observations among 
the Ural Mountains, he had formed the opinion that gold veins had 
generally been produced wherever certain rocks of intrusive charac- 
ter — namely, greenstones, porphyries, sienites, granites, and serpen- 
tines — had been intruded through paleozoic roc^. It was, in short, 
among clay-slates, limestones, and grauwacke-sandstones which had 
been penetrated by such igneous rocks, that quartz veins abounded, 
and with them a diffusion of gold ore in veins, leaf, and grains. To 
the general view of Baron Humboldt, that the richest gold deposits 
were those which were derived from ridges having a meridian direc- 
tion, several geologists were decidedly opposed ; but Sir Roderick was 
of opinion, that, although they might not be able to explain the cause, 
it was a fact that the greatest quantity of gold ore had been obtained 
from chains having a nearer relation to north and south than to the 
equatorial, or east and west directions. This, however, might be due 
to the general form of the chief masses of land, and to the prevailing 
strike of the paleozoic rocks. Humboldt, in view of the great lumps 
occasionally found in the surface rubbish, had supposed that there 

4> Kilogram, equal 21b. Zoz. avoirdupois. 


might have been some coDnection between the production of gold and 
the atmosphere, since, judging from these specimens, it is from the 
superficial extremities of quartz veins that the richest branches of 
gold have been derived, while vein-stones followed downward have 
usually proved unproductive. Notwithstanding, there are cases, 
chiefly on a small scale, as in the Hungarian mines, where gold 
ore continues to ramify in vein-stones to great depths ; yet it is a statis- 
tical fact, that all the great masses of gold have been derived from 
superficial detritus. This detritus should not be confounded with mod- 
ern alluvial deposits. 

Mr. Murchison then entered upon a comparison between the gold 
regions of the Ural and those of California, and showed, by means of 
maps and sections of the former, and from the descriptions of the lat- 
ter country, that there was a great coincidence in their mineralogical 
structure, and that with these *' constants" the same results obtained 
in America as in the Ural. He contended, however, against the in- 
ference, that any large tract of California would be found to be as uni- 
formly auriferous as the banks and slopes of the upper tributaries of 
the Sacramento. The breadth of the auriferous detritus of Califor- 
nia had yet to be ascertained. As, however, the lower or coast 
ridge, which passed by San Francisco, seemed to be in miniature what 
the higher parallel mountains were upon a larger scale, in being com- 
posed of greenstones, porphyries, grauwacke, sandstones, and quartz 
rocks, it was probable that very much of the ^reat intervening valley 
of the Sacramento might be strewed over at mtervals with auriferous 

In regard to views advanced by Sir R. I. Murchison, the President 
of the Association stated, that he thought that, as geologists, they 
should receive with caution the opinion that gold was more abundant 
on the surfa<!e than at great depths ; neither should they take it for 
granted, that the gold-bearing mountains had a bearing from north to 
south rather than from east to west, — as in California, for example, 
they differed somewhat from the position laid down, and the Pyrenees 
differed completely. 

Prof. W. Kogers stated, that in Georgia and the Carolinas the gold 
was uniformly imbedded in, or associated with, quartz rock, forming 
veins in the talcose and micaceous schists and altered sandstones. 
He had invariably, in all his researches, found that gold was generally 
obtained by washing the alluvium in the beds or along the banks of 
rivers. But these superficial deposits are generally very rapidly ex- 
hausted from the wasteful mode of conducting the works. It is prob- 
able that the difficulty of obtaining gold by mining is universal and 
continued at all depths ; it is in part owing to the association of the 
gold in solid rocks with iron pyrites, ores of copper, and lead, so 
blended as to cause great trouble and expense in separating them; 
near the surface of the rocks this process seems to have been accom- 
plished by atmospheric agency, for it is impossible to suppose that 
gold was originally most pure and abundant over what is now the sur- 
face. The general trend of the old metamorphic rocks in the United 
States is northeast by southwest, and the gold veins conform to this 

GE0L06T. 255 

general direction. Gold has been found at intervals from Canada to 
Georgia, a distance of 1 ,000 miles, and although insignificant in quan- 
tity, as compared with California, it occurs under the same conditions. 
Prof. R. was of the opinion that the amount of gold obtained in Cal- 
ifornia will greatly decline after a few years. Prof. Sedgwick con- 
tended that the age of the rock was not a constant phenomenon in 
connection with gold, but that the condition of the rocks did appear to 
be constant. Prof. S. disputed Humboldt's generalization upon the 
direction of the auriferous chains, which he said was no more north 
and south in most cases than mountain chains run mostly north and 
south. Sir H. de la Beche thought that gold was not found as had 
been stated by Sir R. I. Murchison in the older paleozoic rocks only, 
but that it depended more on mineral and physical conditions than on 
the age. 

Sir R. I. Murchison then replied, showing that the theories of those 
who differed from him with regard to the greater abundance of gold 
at the surface than in the veins, differed from every practical man on 
the subject; they differed also in regard to the fact, that the hill 
ranges were from north to south more than to the equatorial line. 
This was so in all cases in which large quantities of gold were found, 
although some modification might be necessary as related to small 
quantities. — London Atheneeumy September 22. 


The following interesting communication of an analysis of the gold- 
en spangles or sands of California was read by M. Dufresnoy before 
the Pans Academy of Sciences. The spangles of gold of Califor- 
nia are much larger than those which come from the washings of the 
Ural or those of Brazil. They also differ in their reddish color, 
which causes them to be distinguished readily at first sight. Accord- 
ing to an accurate analysis, their composition is, 

Gold, 90.70 

Silver, 8.80 

Iron, 0.38 

Total, . . 99.88 

The soils of the Sacramento valley are light ; to the touch they ap- 
pear soft enough, but on rubbing, a few particles of a hard substance 
are felt. Their color is light brown ; the microscope shows them to 
be almost entirely silicious ; the little fragments of which they are 
composed are angular and transparent ; easUy conglomerated together ; 
resemble in their color and transparency a saline mass ; nothing but 
distinct grains are distinguished by the naked eye. A piece of gold 
sent to " L'Eksole des Mines," weighing 47.9414 grams (nearly \\ oz.), 
is of a somewhat red color, its composition otherwise analogous to 
that of the spangles. This piece of gold adheres to some white 
quartz, the surface of which is worn like a pebble ; nevertheless it 
preserves its original form, which is that of a thick vein, fiat and ir- 
regular. The form of this piece, and the presence of the quartz, re- 


Teals the fact, that, in the primitiye heds, gold forms small veins, with 
a quartzose gangue. 

The schistose fragments which exist in the valley of the Sacramen- 
to give reason to think that the mountains which contain auriferous 
veins consist rather of micaceous schist than of granite properly so 
called. This conclusion agrees with the examination of washed au- 
riferous sands. 

The general tint of the auriferous sands is hlack. We perceive at 
first sight that the oxidulous iron predominates, and that it is that 
mineral which causes the color. The analysis was therefore com- 
menced by separating this by means of the magnet ; 3 grams gave 
1.79, or 59.82 per cent. Notwithstanding the separation of this large 
quantity of oxidulous iron, the sands still retained their dark color ; 
they were very rich in gold, and numerous spangles were more dis- 
tinctly remarked. Examined by the microscope, the sands remaining, 
after separation of the iron, contained some octahedrons crystals, some 
with mirror-like facets and but little altered, others rounded, but still 
brilliant. These crystals, by their form and the color of their dust, 
appear to belong to titaniferous oxide of iron and are mixed with flat- 
tened crystals, whose hexahedrons projection and red dust cause them 
to be considered as oligist iron. Lastly, among the black grains 
were observed dull, irregular, and soft fragments, which have sSl the 
character of manganese. Mixed with the titaniferous oxidulous iron, 
in the second portion of the sands, were many crystals of white zir- 
con, terminal at their two extremities. These crystals are for the 
most part short. Their perfect transparency and absence of color 
cause them at first to be taken for quartz, but where their facets are 
counted, there can be no longer doubt that they belong to a prism hav- 
ing a square base. Notwithstanding the smallness of these crystals, 
their perfection is such, that the incidence of many of their faces can 
be measured. 


From nearly all the deposits of gold which exist in various parts of 
the world, the metal is obtained in part in the form of dust, or minute 
grains disseminated through the sand, almost invisible to the eye. As 
yet no returns of gold in Uiis state have been received from California. 
For the purpose of determining whether it really existed and had been 
overlooked, a careful examination of several portions of the black 
metallic residue left after washing in California has been made by Dr. 
Hayes of Boston. The result shows that gold dust in large quanti- 
ties exists mingled with the ferruginous and chromiferous sands, which 
heretofore have been thrown away as worthless. Br. Hayes estimates 
the amount of gold in one ton of sand to be at least $ 1200. 


A FEW months since, gold was discovered on the farm of Samuel 
Elliot, in Montgomery County, Md. From the specimens already 

6E0L067. 257 

obtained, the locality appears to be' valuable. One piece yielded, 
when analyzed at the mint, at the rate of 744 grains per cwt. of ore, 
or $610 per ton; a second specimen yielded 960 grains or $787.20 
per ton, and a third 206 grains or $ 168.80 per ton. The whole give 
an average of 636 grains per cwt. of ore, or $ 522 per ton. The 
quartz, which forms the matrix of the gold, crops out amidst a decom- 
posed talcose slate, so that quarrying is very easy. Ores of copper 
and iron are also present. — Proc Amer. Phil. Soc, 1849, p. 85. 


If the St. Petersburgh papers may be trusted, it is not the West- 
ern Continent alone that is to write on the immediate time its distinc- 
tive name, — the Age of Gold. According to them. Col. Kavelovski, 
director of the mines of Siberia, at present engaged in a mineralogi- 
cal exploration of the interior of Africa, has found on the right bank 
of the Somat, a day's journey from Cassen, several large hills of 
auriferous sand. The washing of these sands yields much more gold 
than does that of the Siberian sands. Stimulated by this discovery, 
the Colonel extended his examination ; and on the banks of the Ramla, 
the Goucka, and several other rivers, he found traces of auriferous 
sand. The Colonel was about, it is added, to transport miners and 
gold- washers from Russia to experiment in the field of his discovery 
on a large scale. — London Atkerueum, 


The discovery of the California gold mines has given rise to many 
notices of the gold regions of the world, but we have seen none more 
interesting than the following account of the Siberian mines, which 
have hitherto been by far the most productive of any known. *' The 
mines of Siberia, from their number and richness, are one of its most 
distinguishing features. They yield gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, 
zinc, and quicksilver, and an inexhaustible abundance of that most 
useful metal, iron. The iron mines are in the far east, that is, the 
nearest approaching our far west ; they are at Nertchinsk, on the 
head waters of the Amour, a noble river emptying into the Pacific by 
a mouth nine miles wide, and, for a large part of its course, full fifteen 
hundred miles, navigable by steamboats. Our accounts of the Siberian 
gold mines are fragmentary, still enough is known to show their high 
importance. In 1847, the produce was $25,000,000. In 1848, it 
was a fraction short of $20,000,000. These mines are wrought by 
private enterprise, and a single family, the Demidoff, married to a niece 
of Napoleon, is said to have long received every year the enormous 
sum of $2,000,000, in gold and other metals. In Siberia, the same 
as in California, every one is allowed to dig, except on private lands, 
and the very poorest often become the richest. There is a lump of 
gold in one of the cabinets of St. Petersburg weighing 78 pounds, the 
largest in the world, worth, at $ 16 the ounce, full $ 15,000. The 
government receives fifteen per cent, for transporting the metal, coin- 



in^ it, and delivering the coin. At the date of March 31, 1847, the 
gold bullion, entirely unproductive, in the imperial treasury amounted 
to $ 85,000,000. By an order then issued, $ 22,500,000 was invest- 
ed in public stocks, — mostly French and English. And again in 
May, 1848, there was lying idly in the vault $82,000,000. 

** The great extent of the Siberian placers is worthy of special 
study as regards their bearings on the history of the future. They 
are larger than those of California, even according to our widest cal- 
culations. To exhibit the estimate formed of them by those compe- 
tent to judge, we refer to the recent work of Sir George Simpson, 
Governor of the Hudson's Bay Territories in North America, and also 
to that of Sir R. L Murchison, President of the Grcological Society 
of England. Both of these most intelligent persons have visited Si- 
beria. Sir George says : — * The whole surface of the country, from 
the Uralean Mountains to the Yablonnoi chain, would appear to be 
one vast bed of the preciods metals. The government reserves to it- 
self all the mines, turning them to excellent account, both as sources 
of revenue and penal colonies. The washeries, however, are open to 
private enterprise. When capitalists wish to embark in the work, 
they employ peasants of experience, and there are instances in which 
peasants have earned $ 40 a day during the two or three months of 
the working season. As an instance of the speculative character of 
this occupation (i. e. the mines), one individual, who embarked in 
the business about three years ago, obtained no returns at all till this 
season, when he was richly repaid for his outlay of more than a mil- 
lion of dollars, by obtaining gold to the amount of $4,200,000. The 
precious metals are more abundant in Siberia than in all the rest of 
the Old World, the most precious of them being, perhaps, more plen- 
tiful than in all the rest of both hemispheres taken together. 

** * At present the mines and washeries are very unfavorable to the 
settlement and cultivation of the country, by calling away laborers 
from more steady occupations to the pursuit of precious metals. Al- 
ready has the effect been seriously felt in Kra-noyarsk, where a pood 
of meat has risen in ten years from $ 1.35 to $ 15, and where fowls 
have risen from 20 cents apiece to $ 1.20.' 

** Sir R. L Murchison, knighted for his geological researches, says : 
— * It is a fact, that, within the last four years only, a tenth portion of 
the earth's surface, Chinese Tartary and Siberia, has been for the 
first time made known to us as in many parts auriferous ; and when 
from one portion of it only Europe is already supplied with so large 
an amount of her chief circulating medium, well may political econ- 
omists beg for knowledge at the hand of the physical geographer and 
geologist, and learn from them the secret on which the public faith of 
empires may depend.' 

** These Siberian gold regions, the description of which reminds us 
of the daily accounts from California, began to be discovered some 
twenty years ago quite extensively, — though during the last ten 
years only has their vast value been fully revealed." 

The Ecole des Mines, at St. Petersburg, possesses a series of over 
750 pieces of the Siberian gold, among which is one, discovered in 1848, 
weighing 90 pounds, which is in very nearly a pure state. — Editors, 



** The deposit of quicksilver, known to exist in California, is a sul- 
phuret of mercury, or native cinnabar. The stratum of mineral, sev- 
eral feet in thickness, has been traced for a considerable distance along 
its line of strike. The specimens assayed at the mint range from 15.5 
to 33.35 per cent, of metal ; it is easy of access, and is mined and re- 
duced without difficulty. So much of the mine as has been traced is 
situated on a ranch to which the title is properly valid ; and, since the 
United States took possession of the country, an attempt has been 
made to acquire title to the mine by denouncement. This proceeding 
is invalid. It therefore remains for Congress to determine whether 
they will relinquish or assert the title of the United States in this 
mine." — Report of the Secretary of the Interior, 

We extract the following additional notice of the quicksilver depos- 
its of California from a letter, published in the Merchants^ Magazine, 
of Dr. Feuchtwanger. " The mercury mines of Upper CaliJfoniia, 
next to the gold diggings, promise to be of great importance to the 
emigrant to that country ; rocks and mountains, to the height of sev- 
eral thousand feet, have already been found to consist of nothing but 
cinnabar, and many more will undoubtedly be developed by the pur- 
suit of the mineralogists and geologists flocking there. It is well 
known that the operation of distilling the metallic mercury from the 
cinnabar does not require much skill, and but very simple apparatus ; 
they are the same, nearly, as were used eighteen hundred years ago. 
To extract a considerable quantity at very little expense^ with a com- 
mon lime-kilii or blast-furnace, properly constructed, large quantities 
of the mercurial ores, intermixed with slacked lime or blacksmith's 
iron scales, may be calcined, or exposed to a red heat for twenty-four 
hours, proper precautions being used to prevent the rising mercurial 
vapors from escaping through any other place than the orifices con- 
structed in the chimneys, so that it may be precipitated therein in the 
cold water running through to the reservoir at their bottoms, whereby 
not less than 2,000 pounds can be manufactured daily. If we consid- 
er the inexhaustible supply of the material, and the high specific 
gravity of cinnabar, which is eight times heavier than water, we can 
form some idea what a quantity of quicksilver may be produced out of 
a hill of 1,000 square feet. Admitting 100 pounds of cinnabar to con- 
sist of 86 of mercury and 14 of sulphur, nearly half a million pounds of 
pure quicksilver may be extracted out of such a single mountain . How 
many pounds of pure quicksilver can be produced from a whole range 
of such mountains, when their bowels contain nothing but cinnabar 1 
It is obvious that California will be able to produce more quicksilver 
than the home consumption will warrant, and it will necessarily be 
wrought into other useful applications, such as vermilion, which has 
hitherto been imported from China, and several European cities, as 
Cadiz, Idria, &c. Four thousand quintals are annually exported from 
the latter city, and nearly ten thousand quintals from China." 



The existence of platinum in the gold sands of California has of 
late been often announced. Specimens from the region have recently 
been seen by the editors of this Journal. We also learn from a reliable 
source that the diamond occurs at the placers. Rev. Mr. Lyman, for- 
merly of New England, describes a crystal seen by him, of a straw- 
yellow color, having the usual convex faces, and about the size of a 
small pea. He saw the crystal but for a few moments, and had no 
opportunity for close examination ; but the appearance and form left 
little doubt that it was a true diamond. — Silhman's Journal. 


Thi size of some of the masses of native copper found in the mines 
of Lake Superior almost exceeds belief. At the Cliff mine they 
have been broken up of 60 and even 80 tons in weight Such pieces 
are reduced in the mine to fragments of 7 tons' weight, or less, and 
after being hoisted to the surface are still further reduced. The most 
extraordinary mass yet met with has been found at the Minesota 
mine during the past year. Two shafts have been sunk on the line of 
the vein, 150 feet apart. At the depth of about 30 feet they struck 
massive copper, which lay in a huge sheet, with the same underlay as 
that of the vein, — about 55° towards the north. Leaving this sheet 
as a hanging wall, a level was run under it connecting the two shaiYs. 
For this whole distance of 150 feet the mass appears to be continuous, 
and how much farther it goes on the line of the vein either way there 
is no evidence, nor beside to what depth it penetrates in the soUd vein. 
It formed the whole hanging wall of the level, showing a width of at 
least eight feet above the floor where its lower edge was lost. In one 
place, where a partial break afforded a convenient opportunity, it has 
been cut through, and its thickness found to exceed 5 feet. Assum- 
ing the thickness to average only 1 foot, there would be in this mass 
1,200 cubic feet, or about 250 tons. 

The mode adopted to remove these masses is to cut channels 
through them with cold-chisels, after they are shattered by large 
sand-blasts put in behihd them. Grooves are cut with the chisels 
across their smallest places, one man holding, and another striking, 
as in drilling. A chip of copper three fourths of an inch wide, and 
up to six inches in length, is taken out, and the process is repeated 
until the groove passes through the mass. The expense of this work 
is from $8 to $ 12 per superficial foot of the face exposed. Frag- 
ments of vein-stone inclosed in the copper prevent the use of saws. 
A powerful machine, occupying little room, is much needed^ which 
would perform more economically this work. The greatest thickness 
of any mass cut through at the Cliff mine has been about 3 feet. 
Their occurrence through the vein is not regular. Barren spots alter- 
nate with productive portions. The same is the case in all the mines. 
The total product of the Cliff mine for the year 1848 is estimated at 
830 tons, averaging 60 per cent. The product of the year 1849, it is 


GEOL06T. 261 

thought, will exceed 1,000 tons. The whole amount of copper 
annually imported into the United States is ahout the value of 
$2,000,000, or about 5,400 tons. But little has been supplied from 
our own mines. Nine such mines, then, as the Cliff would render 
us independent of foreign supplies. Present appearances indicate 
that this amount of copper must be supplied in a very few years, and 
this metal soon become, as lead already has, one of export instead of 
import. The recent failures of mining speculations, wildly under- 
taken, and ignorantly and extravagantly conducted, may for a time 
check the development of these mines ; but their wonderfully rich 
character is now beginning to be properly appreciated, as well as the 
reliance which may be put in the surface-appearance of the veins> 

The silver found associated with the copper has not proved of much 
importance, perhaps for the reason that the greater part of it is pur- 
loined by the miners. The Cliff mine has probably yielded more 
than $ 30,000 worth, of which not more than a tenth part has been 
secured by the proprietors. — Proceedings of the Association for the 
Advancement of Science, 


A CORRESPONDENT of the Railroad Journal, writing from Mackinaw, 
November 2d, gives the results of the season's operations in the Lake 
Superior copper mines, as he obtained them from the directors or 
agents. The Cliff mine seems to have been by far the most produc- 
tive, the company having shipped, or had ready to ship, 1,000 tons oti 
November 1st, the average percentage of which is estimated at 63. 
Six other companies mentioned vary in their products from 57 to 6 
tons ; the percentage of four is 67 ; of one, 75 ; and of the one which 
produces only 6 tons, 100. Four of these mines, it is estimated, will, 
daring the year 1650, produce in the aggregate 1,950 tons. A large 
number of new companies are being formed, but during the next year 
they can do little more than clear away for future operations. 


At a meeting of the Boston Natural History Society, January 
3d, Mr. J. D. Whitney made some remarks on the remarkable vein of 
black oxide of copper which was formerly worked at Copper Harbour, 
Lake Superior. The ore in the vein was 14 inches wide, and for a 
short time the mine furnished a good supply of copper ore, yielding 
about 60 or 70 per cent, of metallic copper. It was soon exhausted, 
a bed of fine-grained sandstone cutting off the copper vein, the calc 
spar only continuing in the sandstone below. It was the only vein of 
this substance, and perhaps the only locality known in the world, and 
specimens will be highly prized by the mineralogist hereafter. The 
substance called copper-black, and sometimes black oxide of copper, 
which occurs in an earthy, pulverulent form, is not to be confounded 
with the pure oxide of copper found at Copper Harbour. Copper- 
black is a mixture of various hydrated oxides, especially of iron, man- 


ffanese, and copper, and is eyidently the result of their decomposition. 
The oxide of copper found at Copper Harbour is generally compact, 
though the purer specimens have a crystalline structure. Some speci- 
mens are almost chemically pure, though it is generally mixed with a 
little silicate of copper. One of the purest specimens contained only 
l.Q per cent, of impurities, mostly silica, with traces of lime and iron. 
As the oxide of copper of this remarkable vein has not been minera- 
logically described, the following description is added. Crystallized 
in cubes, with their solid angles occasionally replaced ; generally, 
however, massive, with crystalline structure, sometimes earthy ; no 
traces of cleavage ; H = 3 ; G = 6.25 ; color, steel-gray to black ; lus- 
tre metallic, the earthy varieties acquire a metallic lustre on being 
scratched or cut with a knife ; opaque. Chemical composition Cu 
almost pure ; containing copper 79.86, oxygen 20.13. — Proc. Bost. 
Soc. Nat, Hist,, 1849. 

Among the masses of bld,ck oxide of copper brought from the mine 
at Copper Harbour, Mr. J. E. Teschemacher discovered regular cubic 
crystals of the ore, crystals which show that the ore is not a mere me- 
chanical mixture of copper smut with earthy matters for a cement, as 
some have supposed. There are also found at the Copper Harbour 
mine, chrysocolla, or hydrous green silicate of copper, and the black 
silicate, which contains a less proportion of water. These ores, we 
can easily conceive, might be produced by the decomposition of a so- 
lution of copper by the action of a hot solution of lime. The black 
oxide may have been derived either from a solution, or from igneous 
sublimation. We know that black oxide of copper is sublimed from 
the crater of Vesuvius, and is deposited in fine splendent scales, like 
specular iron ore in the lavas. — Proc. American Association, 



During the course of the past year, Mr. J. T. Teschemacher, of 
Boston, having noticed the presence of a dark-colored mineral among 
some ores of copper brought from Lake Saperior, submitted the same 
to a chemical analysis. The result showed the presence of vanadic 
acid in considerable quantity. A discovery so unlocked for caused a 
suspicion of error, and the substance in question was submitted to a 
distinguished chemist for further examination and analysis. The re- 
sult coincided with that obtained by Mr. Teschemacher, and proved 
beyond all doubt that vanadium exists in some of the ores of copper 
found near Lake Superior. The manner in which it is disseminated 
through the specimens analyzed affords a strong presumption that it 
will be found hereafter in considerable quantities. Vanadium was 
discovered in 1830 by Sef8trora,'in iron prepared from the iron ore of 
Taberg, in Sweden. Soon after Sefstrom's discovery, the same metal 
was found by Johnson of England in combination with lead, and form- 
ing a vanadiate of lead. A similar mineral was found at Zimapan, 
Mexico, in 1801, by Prof, del Rio. He supposed it to be a new met- 
al, and applied the name erythronium, from the red color of its acid ; 


but as Descotils, on being appealed to, declared the mineral to be a 
chromate of lead, Del Rio abandoned his own opinion in deference to 
a higher authority. Thus have three persons noticed the existence 
of vanadium, without the knowledge of each other's labors; but 
the merit of being the first discoverer is fairly due to Sefstroms. — 


According to Mr. Whitney, U. S. Geologist, the deposits of iron 
ore in the regions bordering on Lake Superior are immense. It ex- 
ists mostly in the form of fine-grained, almost chemically pure peroxide, 
and occupies about 80 quarter-sections of the mineral country. At 
the nearest point it is about 12 miles from the Lake. The quantity of 
the ore is beyond all calculation, and the iron made from it is equal to 
the best Swedish. It appears in the form of hills, ridges, and knobs, 
evidently of igneous origin, the highest points being 1100 feet 
above the level of the lake. In some cases the hills or ridges are 
more than half a mile in extent. The cost of iron manufactured 
from this ore is from 24 to 30 dollars per ton, while the price of 
Swedish is about 90 dollars. The forests in the vicinity of the ore- 
beds afibrd abundant materials for the production of charcoal, to be 
used in smelting. 


Large bodies of this valuable mineral are found in Arkansas. Sil- 
yer mines also exist in that State, some of which were worked by the 
Spaniards prior to the year 1800. Gold mines appear recently to have 
been found, and iron to an endless extent. The present workings of 
argentiferous galena are on the estates of the ** Southwestern and 
Arkansas Mining Company," situate about ten miles from Little 
Rock. The ore is said to be exceedingly rich. The highest assays 
have exhibited as much as 140 pounds of silver to the ton of ore. 
The lowest assays are about 33oz. The average of silver to a ton of 
ore is supposed to be about 120oz., — a presumption founded on the 
price offered for the ore in England. The importance of even the 
lowest assay (33oz.] can be estimated from the fact, that, in England, 
it is considered worth separating for 3oz. * 


The Sussex Zinc and Copper Mining Company are now engaged 
in active mining operations in the town of Monroe, Sussex County, 
New Jersey. The mines owned by this company are among the 
most valuable and productive in this country, and are the only ones in 
the world where the red oxide of zinc is procured in quantity for prac- 
tical purposes. The locality has been known for many years. It was 
opened by Lord Stirling, who first worked the iron mines in Orange 
County, and cpnstrncted the first furnace there. He worked it, proba- 


biy for the copper it contained, so long ago that now there are forest- 
trees a foot in diameter growing on the dibris thrown out then. As 
zinc was an article not much known at that time, and not in demand, 
the copper must have been the object. About ten years ago the 
United States government, under advice, worked these mines to ob- 
tain zinc to use in composition of brass for the construction of the 
standard weights and measures of thei»>untry. The zinc was known 
to be of such excellent quality, that it was procured without regard to 
expense for the purposes above mentioned. The ore found in New 
Jersey comes under the fourth species of Thompson, who calls it 
'* Manganesian Oxide of Zinc," and it has lately been injudiciously 
proposed to give it a new name after Lord Stirling, who was the 
original patentee of the district of land where it is found. It was 
first noticed and analyzed by Dr. Bruce, who found it to contain zinc 
76, oxygen 16, and oxides of manganese and iron 8 ; but according to 
Berthier it has oxide of zinc 88, and sesquioxide of manganese 12. 
Some recent examinations have, as it is said, detected cadmium in this 
ore. The mineral crops out at the summit of a rid^e that is precipi- 
tous on either side, and about three eighths of a mile in length. The 
removal of a very slight covering of extraneous material lays open the 
ores. With this red oxide of zmc is found the mineral called frank- 
Unite, mingling chemically and mechanically. This firanklinite is a 
species of iron ore which, as found here, yields iron of the finest 
quality, and fully equal, in tenacity and fineness, to the Swedish, from 
which the English manufacture their best steel. It is in veins of from 
eight to twenty-five feet wide, and lies between two veins of primary 
limestone, the average depth of which is reckoned by geologists about 
3,000 feet. Taking the average of the ore, the zinc and iron are near- 
ly equal in quantity. In some veins the zinc predominates, and in 
other veins the iron. 

One difficulty, which stood in the way of the reduction of zinc ore, 
has been overconoe by the skill and perseverance of the present own- 
ers of this Sussex mine ; who, instead of separating the zinc from 
the iron with which it is combined, by calcination, have recourse to 
roasting, pounding, and sifting, which has the desired effect : the zinc 
being reduced by the two former operations to a red powder, and the 
iron being left in coarser imperfect crystals. 

The zinc, when in this state, is capable of being reduced to an im- 
palpable powder, and of being used as a paint for fences and out-houses, 
for which, by its durability and cheapness, it is well calculated. But 
if it is required to produce the white oxide, it can be readily obtained 
by calcination, and in this state it promises to supersede the use of 
white lead as a pigment. But the beauty of the metal alloyed vnth 
a very small proportion of tin and lead, is its greatest characteris- 
tic. Dish-covers, forks, spoons, &c, made of this metal, are second 
in beauty to nothing but silver, and in this state it retains its lustre 
in an astonishing manner. A piece of the rolled zinc has been ex- 
posed to the action of the atmosphere for several months without be- 
ing tarnished in the least degree. The metal also exhibits great duc- 
tility and tenacity, and is capable of being drawn to the finest wire and 


ipUed to the thinnest plates. It has heen sugg^ested that this 'zino 
would be better for pipes for conducting water than the leaden ones 
now in use, as -a poisonous corrosive substance is never formed on 
their interior, as in lead. 


The empire of Japan contains inexhaustible mines of the precious 
metals ; the quantity of gold, silver, and copper exported from Japan, 
between 1611 and 1706, according to an official report of a Japanese 
minister of state, amounted to $413,036,800. Gold is so plentiful in 
the great island of Niphon, that it is thought advisable to regulate the 
working of the mines by law, lest too great a quantity should be 
brought into circulation. The currency of the country is composed 
of gold, silver, and copper. — National Intelligencer, 


The metallic produce of the Russian Empire in 1848 was, accord- 
ing to the official returns, as follows, viz. : — 1,826 poods of gold, 
4 pood of platinum, 1,192 poods of silver, 254,569 poods of copper, 
and 8,513,673 poods of wrought- iron. The pood is equivalent to a 
little more than 36lbs. avoirdupois. The gold from Russia, therefore, 
represents a value of £3,944,832 (or about $19,720,000), making 
due allowances for the English alloy. 


In a communication to SilUman^s Journal, for March, Dr. J. Lau- 
rence Smith, mineralogist in the service of the Porte, announces the 
discovery ^f emery formations in three distinct places in Asia Minor ; 
one near Ephesus, another near Kula, and a third to tlie north of 
Smyrna. The mineral somewhat resembles the protoxides, the sili- 
cates, and the anhydrous oxides of iron, generally with an irregular 
fracture. A monopoly of the emery has been disposed of by the 
Turkish government for the sum of fifty-five thousand dollars per 
annum, and eight hundred tons have already been shipped to England. 
Br. Smith has also discovered, associated with the emery, oxide of 
zirconium, and a new micaceous mineral, which he has denominated 
emerylitey having for its composition, silex 30i, alumina 50, zirconia 4, 
lime 13, oxide of iron, manganese, and potash 3. 


Chrome and meerschaum have been recently discovered in Asia 
Minor by Dr. J. Laurence Smith, about fifty miles south of Broosa. 
In relation to this discovery. Dr. Smith remarks : — " It is a circum- 
stance worthy of notice, that chromate of iron (the first that has 
been discovered in Asia Minor) is here found in serpentine, as else- 
where. This important fact can explain, to a certain extent, the for- 



matioD of this ehromate. It is well known that serpentine contains 
all the elements of ehromate of iron, which, during the consolidation 
of this rock, might separate themselves by the force of segregation, 
so well known to operate in many geological phenomena. Two 
facts, which seem to confirm this supposition, are, first, the existence 
of the ehromate of iron in masses and not in veins, and secondly, 
the pale color of the serpentine associated with the ehromate. One 
smaU specimen, which I have, consists of white rock, principally 
composed of carbonate of magnesia, in which ehromate of iron in 
small specks is visible. It is possible that this carbonate is the result 
of the decomposition of the serpentine at the surface, by the action 
of water containing carbonic acid. The ehromate of iron occurs, 
however, abundantly, and is disseminated in the rocks over a consid- 
erable extent of territory. 

'* In quitting the locality of the chrome, and going northeast, I trav- 
ersed in several places the serpentine containing veins of carbonate 
of magnesia, quite pure ; and this occurs until we arrive at the plains 
of Eskihi-sher. It is ^om different parts of this plain that the 
meerschaum, most esteemed in the arts, comes. The plain is a de- 
posit of drift, being a valley filled up with the tUbris of the neigh- 
bouring mountains, consolidated by lime containing no fossils. The 
meerschaum is found in this drift in masses more or less rounded, the 
other pebbles being fragments of hornblende and magnesian rocks. 
I have examined with care the neighbouring mountains, which sur- 
round the plain, and have found that the rocks are of the same nature 
as the pebbles in the plain, except those of the meerschaum ; but, on 
the other hand, I found carbonate of magnesia in the mountains, 
which is not to be found in the plains. And this makes me suppose 
that the meerschaum owes its origin to the carbonate of magnesia in 
the mountains, decomposed after its separation by water containing 
silica. In confirmation of this supposition, the meerschaum, which 
has not been completely changed, has been found to contain carbon- 
ate of magnesia. Another proof that the meerschaum owes its ori- 
gin to the carbonate of magnesia is, that serpentine, similar to that 
found in contact with the carbonate of magnesia in the mountains, 
often adheres to the meerschaum of the plain." — Silliman's Journal^ 


Mr. William Ridley, of New York, in a report on the Isth- 
mus of Panama, states that he has recently discovered near Costa 
Rica, on the Pacific, a *' deposit of bituminous coal of such excel- 
lent quality, and in such abundance, as to realize every expectation. 
The coal, as proved on the spot, although taken from an upper seam 
and exposed for centuries to the action of sea-water, is highly bitu- 
minous, igniting freely in the flame of a candle, emitting a fierce 
flame, and leaving little residuum. In this respect, it is fully equal to 
the upper seams of the best Newcastle or Scotch coals, which are 
generally considered superior for generating steam. 


" Of the quantity which can be procured, no doubt can be enter- 
tained that it is sufficient to supply the steamers on the Pacific for 
ages, since indications and features of a coal deposit have been 
traced for miles in extent.'' 

The harbour of Coeta Rica is easy of access to the largest ressels, 
and affords peculiar advantages for the shipment of the coal and 
other productions. Native copper, and copper ore of great variety 
and richness, have also been found in this vicinity. 

At Vancouver's Island the coal is worked so near the surface that 
a British steam-sloop was lately supplied with sixty-two tons by the 
natives within three days. Specimens of this coal have been exam- 
ined for the English Board of Admiralty, and although it yields a 
considerable percentage of ash, it is not much inferior to the coal of 
South Wales. In addition to this, the coal-fields of Chili are found 
to produce a fuel in many respects equal to the coal of Newcastle. 
These discoveries of coal, and the more recent one at Port Famine, 
insure the success of steam navigation on the Pacific Ocean. 


There has been a recent announcement of the discovery of coal in 
the Straits of Magellan ; if abundant and of good quality, it will 
prove of great importance in steam navigation. Samples of the 
coal have been transmitted to the English Board of Admiralty for 
scientific examination. 

The coal obtained in Borneo is the best yet discovered in the East, 
and on trial has been found excellent for steam purposes. It has 
been traced from Labuan to the continental island for 30 miles inland, 
and is at present mined in the British settlement with European skill 
and machinery. Of surface coal chiefly, about 3,000 tons have al- 
ready been raised and used for steam navigation. But coal is also 
understood to have been found on the western and southern coasts of 


The Cumberland coal-basin lies in the trough, or valley, formed 
by the two ridges into which the Alleghany range forks as it advan- 
ces in a northeasterly direction towards Northern Virginia, and, 
crossing the western part of Maryland, enters Pennsylvania. The 
valley is about thirty-five miles long and ten wide. Its southern half 
is drained by the north branch of the Potomac, which, after flowing 
half way up the valley, and receiving the waters of numerous 
streams, the chief of which are Abram's Creek, Spring River, and 
Deep Run, in Virginia, and Three Fork River, Savage River, and 
Greorge*s Creek, in Maryland, suddenly turns to the southeast and 
cuts a way for itself out of the valley, (and, as we may add, cuts a 
natural canal for the miner into the valley,) through the east ridge 
of the range. A similar natural channel and passage is afforded by 
the Savage, which, in like manner, makes its way Uirough a pass in 


the West, or Baok-bone ridge, cutting thiongh the motiiitainSy as it 
were, to their roots, in a manner which the piety of the capitalist is 
tempted to recognize as quite providential . 

The country between the ridges is a succession of hills and ra^ 
Tines. At the bottom of the raTines flow the streams, some of 
which we have mentioned, and which, flowing into the Potomac, 
drain the whole region. Cropping out on the sides of these hiUs, 
and in successive layers, from the bottom to the top, are found beds 
of coal, iron-ore, sandstone, and limestone. The coal-beds are from 
two to seventeen foet in thickness. In order to get at these mineral 
treasures, there is no necessity of shafts sunk deep into the earth, 
nor will machinery be required to pump water from the mines. Ths 
region is already drained to hmuL The eoal and iron can be reached 
by lateral cuts into the hill-sides. 

The coal'field extends through the whole length of the valley, 
and is, therefore, about thirty-four miles long. Its average breadth 
is four miles ; it contains, therefore, about 140 square miles, or 
90,000 acres. The capacity of the basin has been variously estimat- 
ed. One estimate makes the yield of a portion of the field at fifty 
thousand tons the acre, of available coals ^ lying above the bed of the 
Potomac. '*The resources of this region," says Mr. R. C Taylor, 
in his Statistics of Coal, '* are demonstrated to be of a very productive 
character; surpassed, probably, by none on the eastern margin of 
the Alleghany mountain range." It is the peculiar character of the 
coal of the Cumberland region, which gives it, at this juncture, its 
chief interest. At this juncture, we say, for we seem to be ap- 
proaching a turning-point in the history of steam-power; a stage 
when the inquiry as to the future supply of fuel, vegetable and min- 
eral, to supply the fires of the steam-ftimace, which bum higher 
every day, and the consideration of the comparative value and capa- 
city of the diflferent varieties of coal, become matters of no little mo- 
ment. The value of a large and easily accessible supply of semi- 
bituminoQs coal becomes evident from a few obvious considerations. 

For all locomotive purposes, whether on land or water, the fuel 
that is capable of generating the most steam, within the shortest 
time, at the shortest notice, and at the same time occupies the least 
space in bulk, is obviously the most desirable. Such is the distin- 
guishing excellence of the semi-bitaminous coals. In England the 
Welsh coals are for this reason called, by way of distinction, steam 
coals. The Cumberland and Welsh semi-bituminoas coals prove, 
upon analysis, very similar in the proportions of carbon, and volatile 
or bituminous and gaseous matter. Mr. Taylor, in his '* Statistics," 
gives a classification and analysis of some thousand varieties of coals, 
of the three great classes, bituminous, semi-bituminous, and anthra- 
cite, into which they are divided. Of the Welsh coals the average 
of five varieties is about 81 per cent, of carbon to about 15.5 of bitumi- 
nous matter. Of the Cumberland, specimens from Savage River con- 
tained 77 per cent, of carbon to 16 of bituminous matter, and 78 to 19 ; 
Maryland Company's, 82.01 to 15 ; George's Creek, 70.76 to 16.03; 
Stony River, 83.36 to 13.38 ; Abram's Creek, 72.40 to 16.20. 


The excellence of the Cumberland coal is attested by many men 
of science. Mr. David Moshet, of Gloucestershire, a few years ago, 
pronounced some specimens from near the town of Cumberland 
*' the very best bituminous coal he had erer met with," and he con- 
sidered it well adapted to iron making. Dr. Ure says that it " re- 
sembles closely, in external appearance, the outcross coals of the 
Monkland and Calder district, near Glasgow, so celebrated for mak- 
^^S good iron." *' Professors Silliman, Shephard, and others, hare 
shown," says Mr. Taylor, '' that the main or ten feet Frostberg 
seam, which, having been longer worked, has conferred a character 
on the Cumberland coal, contains but 13.34 per cent, of bitumen, be- 
sides 1.66 of water. Such an amount as 82 per cent of carbon, 
which these analyses show it to possess, while at the same time it 
retains enough of the properties of flaming coal, carries its own best 
commendation, and places it very high, if not the highest, in the 
scale of American coals." Opinions might be added from Prof. 
Daniel, Major Douglas, Dr. Jackson, Prof. Ducatel, Lieut. Lynch, 
Prof. Ren wick, and others. 

Being of an intermediate kind between the anthracite and full 
bituminous, and having more carbon than the latter, and more bitu- 
men than the former, the semi-bituminous coal possesses a high de- 
gree of the good qualities of both, although not so high of either of 
those of which the others have an excess. It contains these ele- 
ments in more equal proportions. In anthracke the average of car- 
bon is from 90 to 95 parts out of 100 ; in bituminous, 45 to 55 out 
of 100. For extremely hot fires, like that of charcoal, the anthra- 
cite is, of course, the best. For a fast open-burning fire of little in- 
tensity, the English bituminous coals are best. But used for the 
purposes of the locomotive engine, propelling either ship or car, the 
anthracite, although possessing ample evaporative powers, is too dif- 
ficult to kindle for the despatch and punctuality of travel, and it re- 
quires blowers and a strong draft to keep it burning, the consequence 
of which is, that a large proportion of heat (estimated at 20 percent.) 
is lost, so that less steam is obtained than from coals of intrinsically 
less evaporative power. At the same time, the incomplete combus- 
tion of this coal, leading to frequent and inconvenient accumulations, 
which choke the furnaces, and its tendency to clinker, are almost 
fatal objections to its use, alike on railways and steamers. 

On the other hand, the common English bituminous coal, which 
has heretofore been much used in steamships, and is very good, has 
not a few objectionable qualities. The immense volumes of smoke 
it emits is a point not to be overlooked, in connection with its applica- 
tion to naval purposes. The bituminous coal has the advantage of 
kindling quickly, and it burns fast. But its heating power is less 
than that of the semi-bituminous, of course much less than that of 
anthracite. A large bulk of this coal is, therefore, necessary for the 
same amount of evaporative power. The tendency of this coal to 
run together or cake as it burns, is also not to be overlooked. And 
instances have occurred of bituminous coal igniting by spontaneous 
combustion on board of ships. This has been the case with vessels 



on their way to the East Indies, and a few years ago an English 
government steamer was bamt in the Mediterranean by the sponta- 
neoQs combustion of its ooa). 

In short, for a combination of the highest eTaporatire power, with 
the least bulk, facility of ignition, and completeness of combustion, 
and for the absence of any tendency to dog the furnace, to clinker, 
or to cake, semi-bituminous coals, for purposes of steam locomotion, 
must have the preference over the other kinds. 

By far the most elaborate experiments on this subject are those 
conducted under the direction of the naval department at Washing- 
ton, by Professor Walter R. Johnson, whose elaborate Report of 
600 pages lies before us. The results are given in numerous de- 
tailed tabular statements. And at the end are the tables, in which 
are exhibited the character and efficiency of the several coals. The 
examination embraced over forty specimens, including various foveign 
kinds. From the first of these we take the following figures, in 
which the coals are compared with reference to bulk and space re- 
quired for stowage, proportion of carbon and volatile matter, and 
evaporative power. 

Official Anah/sis of Anthracite and Bituminous CoaL 

Weight per Cubic feet Fixed Bitumen or Earthy Evap'ive 
Anthracitei. cubic foot, per ton. carbon, volatile matter, matter, power. 

Peach Mountain 
Lehigh .... 
Forrest Improvement . 
Lackawanna . 

Semi- bitumfnoua. 
Neff ■ Cumberland 
Maryland Mining Company 
Blosburgh .... 
Dauphin and Susquehanna 

Newcastle .... 
Liverpool . 
Sidney .... 
Pictou .... 
Richmond, Virginia . 
Cannelton, Indiana . 

In the last table the ranks of coals are assigned, according to their 
practical qualities, in ten different particulars. In respect to com- 
pleteness of combustion, the second rank is assigned to the Cumber- 
land coal. And it holds the first rank for evaporative power, under 
equal weights and equal bulks, and for the evaporative power of its 
pure combustible matter. For freedom from waste in burning, the 
soft bituminous coals stand first ; but some of the Cumberland speci- 
mens stand very high, as high as the eleventh of forty-four kinds. 
And for maximum evaporative power, under given bulks, coal from 
Cumberland stands first. 

At the close of his Report, Mr. Johnson truly remarks, that it is 
not '< easy to assign the exact relative weight or importance of the 
several qualities indicated. In steam navigation, bulk as well as 
weight demands attention ; and a difierence of twenty per cent., 
which experiment shows to exist between the highest and the lowest 





















































































vremge weight of a oiifaic foot of diffinent coals, aasumes a Talae of 
no little magnitade. 

'' For the pnrpoeee of steam navigation, therefore, the rank most 
important to be considered is the fifth, in which the names of coals 
stand in the order of their evap&rative power, under given bulks. 
This is obviondy true, since, if other things be equal, the length of 
a Toyage must depend on the amount of evaporatiTe power afforded 
by the fuel which can be stowed in the bunkers of a steamer^ always 
of limited capacity." — HurU^s Merchants^ Magazine, 


The Little Rock (Arkansas) Democrat says : — " We have been 
favored by Mr. Benedict, of Conway County, with a specimen of 
coal from the vein recently discovered in the Petitjean Mountain, at 
the confluence of the Petitjean River with the Arkansas. This 
specimen has moch the appearance of anthracite, brilliant, and quite 
heavy. The vein from which it was taken is about five inches thick. 
Other veins have been foand in the same mountain. It is believed 
that this deposit, being so convenient to navigation, might be worked 
with much profit." 


Professor Ridowat, of Philadelphia, the gentleman to whom 
was committed the survey of the coal district of Mansfield, Mass., 
has reported to the Company. He estimates the amount of coal, on 
about 1,500 acres of their lands, at 4,000,000 tons. It eidsts in five 
beds. One vein is eight feet in thickness. He estimates the differ- 
ence of cost between the Mansfield and Pennsylvania coal, at Boston, 
to be $2.20 per ton. Its composition shows 94 per cent, of carbon, 
and Prof. Ridgway states that it burns with more flame, and ignites .-f 

more readily, than any red-ash coal he has ever seen. 


The Rhode Island papeirs state, that, in digging a well in Bristol, a 
bed of coal was struck about 14 feet below the surges of the ground, 
and that it has been penetrated for 12 feet without reaching the bot- 
tom of the ledge. The coal has been tried and found to burn fi:eely, 
without leaving any cinders, and its ashes are of a grayish color. It 
has not yet been examined by any scientific miner, but the indications 
are, that the bed extends for a considerable distance. Lumps of 
from 300 to 500 pounds in weight have been taken out, which are 
considered as good as the Pennsylvania coal. 


The coal regions of America are, from the explorations which have 
thus &r been made, supposed to be divided into three principal mass- 


et ; the gmtX central tract, extending from Taecalooea, Alabama, to 
the west of Pennsylvania, and being apparently continued to New 
Brunswick and Nova Scotia ; the second tract strikes northwestward 
from Kentucky, crosses the Ohio, and stretches through Illinois to 
the Mississippi River ; a third region, smaller than the others, lies 
between the three great lakes, — Erie, Huron, and Michigan. Com- 
petent geologists affirm, that, from a comparison of the coal strata of 
contiguous tmsins, these are no more than detached parts of a once 
continuous deposit. 

The extent of this enormous coal-field is in length from northeast 
to southwest more than 720 miles, and its greatest breadth about 180 
miles; its area, upon a moderate calculation, amounts to 63,000 
square miles ! In addition to these, there are several detached tracts 
of anthracite in Eastern Pennsylvania, which form some of the most 
remarkable coal-tracts in the world. They occupy an area of about 
200 square miles. 

The strata which constitute this vast deposit comprehend nearly 
all the known varieties of coal, from the dryest and most compact an- 
thracite, to the most fusible and combustible common coal. One of 
the most remarkable features of these coal-seams is their prodigious 
bulk. The great bed of Pittsburg, extending nearly the entire length 
of the Monongahela River, has been traced through a great elliptic 
area of nearly 225 miles in its longest diameter, and of the maximum 
breadth of about 100 miles, — the superficial extent being 14,000 
square miles, — the thickness of the bed diminishing gradually from 
12 or 14 feet to 2 feet. In 1847 the anthracite coal regions of Penn- 
sylvania furnished 3,000,000 tons, and 11,439 vessels cleared from 
Philadelphia in that year loaded with the article. The produce in 
1848 and the present year is of course larger. 

The bituminous coal area of the United States is 133,132 square 
miles, or one 17lh part of the whole. The bituminous coal area 
of British America is 18,000 square miles, or one 45th part ; Great 
Britain, 8,139 square miles ; Spain, 3,408 square miles, or one 52d 
part ; France, 1,719 square miles, or one 118th part; and Belgium, 
518 square miles, or one 122d part. The area of the Pennsylvania 
anthracite coal formations is put down at 437 square miles ; and that 
of Great Britain and Ireland, anthracite and culm, at 3,720 square 
miles. The anthracite coal of Great Britain and Ireland, however, is 
not nearly so valuable an article *of fuel as the anthracite coal of 
Pennsylvania, nor does a given area yield so much as the latter. — 
New York Express, 


Prof. B. Silliman, Jr., by a series of investigations communi- 
cated to the American Association and the American Journal, has 
shown that several American minerals, known and described under 
different names, are in reality identical. The mineral found dissem- 
inated in the white limestone at Bolton, Mass., and to which Prof. 

GBOLoor. 273 

Shepaid has given the name boltonite, is identical with sphene. 
The bisilicate of magnesia of Dr. Thompson, also found at Bolton, 
is hornblende, variety actinolite. 

The sillimanite of Bowen, the bulcholzite of Brandos, the fibrolite 
of Boumon, Prof. Silliman shows to be but varieties of the well- 
known mineral kyanite. Prof. S. remarks, **that andalnsite has 
the same chemical constitution as kyanite, but belongs to the right 
rhombic form, while kyanite is oblique. Doubtless it is a case of di- 
morphism, and perhaps the same may be said with truth of stau- 



Mr. J. T. Teschemacher, in a paper recently read before the 
Boston Society of Natural History, showed that the mineral called 
arkansite by Prof. Shepard, recently discovered in this country, is 
identical with the brookite of Ekiropean mineralogists. Brookite is 
oxide of titanium, with traces of iron and manganese, and has 
hitherto been so extremely rare as to have been only analyzed by 
Prof. Rose, of Berlin. It occurs in this country in considerable 

Dr. C. T. Jackson, of Boston, has also found associated with some 
gold ores from Virginia, the rare mineral tellurium, in the form of 
a telluret of lead and gold with a little silver and a small amount of 
selenium. These minerals, tellurium and selenium, have never been 
found before in America. With some of the specimens Dr. Jackson 
has also found bismuth, a rare combination. 


M. DuTRENOY exhibited before the French Academy, in March, 
a specimen of a mineral from Brazil, which appears to be to the 
diamond what emery is to corundum. Among some specimens sent 
to the '' Ecole des Mines " by a dealer in minerals were two, which 
were stated to be hard enongh to polish the diamond ; and, in fact, 
they were found lo be harder than topaz. This substance was an- 
alyzed by M. Rivot, who had at his disposal one large fragment and 
several smaller ones. The large fragment appeared to come from 
the same alluvial formation as that in which the Brazilian diamonds 
occur. Its edges are rounded by long friction, but it has not the ap- 
pearance of a rolled flint It is of a slightly brownish, dull black 
color, and when viewed with a glass it appears riddled with small 
cavities, separating very small irregular laminae, which are slightly 
translucent and iridescent. The brown color is very anequally dis- 
tributed throughout the mass, and on the faces the cavities are linear, 
which gives it a fibrous aspect similar to obsidian. It cuts glass 
readily, and scratches quartz and topaz ; its density is only 3.013, 
while the smaUer specimens are respectively 3.141, 3.416, and 3.255. 
These numbers indicate a great difference in the porosity of the speci- 


meos, but BtUl they lead to the conelasion, that the density isrery 
Dearly the same as that of the diamond. The specimens were not 
altered by a long calcination at a bright red heat, so that they cannot 
contain any substance volatilizable by calcination. This result ren- 
ders improbable the idea of liebig, that diamonds are derived from 
the transformation of organic vegetable matter. The three specimens 
were successively bomed in pure oxygen gas in the apparatus used 
for the combustion of the diamond, and 100 of the first specimens 
gave carbon 96.84, ash 2.03, loss 1.13 ; in the others the carbon was 
09.73 and 99.87, the ash 0.24 and 0.27, and the loss but 0.03 and 
0.86. The analysis, therefore, shows that they are composed wholly 
of carbon and ash. The analysis of the first specimen, however, is 
believed to be erroneous. The ash was of a yellowish color, and 
under the microscope appeared to be composed of ferruginous 
alumina and small transparent crystals. — JamesotCs Philosophical 


We have received from Prof. Bailey, of West Point, specimens of 
plumbic ochre, or native litharge, from New Mexico. He writes 
concerning it : — ''It was given to me by Major Greo. Thomas, of 
U. S. Army, who got it in New Mexico, where he said it was called 
'silver flux,' and used in working silver ores. Thinking it might be 
only an artificial 'litharge,' I wrote to Major Henry for particulars, 
and he says, ' I am certain that it is obtained in many places in the 
province of Chihuahua and Cohahuila. Whilst stationed at Saltillo, 
1 saw some forty or fifty sacks of it which had been taken from a 
mine near Mazapel, a mining town, some one hundred miles south of 
Saltillo. I saw a few pieces which had been picked up by officers ia 
the streams between Ceralvo and Monterey, and also in the Sabinas 
River in the province of Cohahuila. This leads me to suppose this 
ore occurs in the range of mountains running nearly north and south 
through Cohahuila, and terminating about twenty-five miles north of 
the city of Monterey.' " We have examined the specimens sent us 
by Prof. Bailey, and find them to be yellow oxide of lead. The color 
is between orpiment and sulphur-yellow, and it glistens like a granu- 
lar mica of a nearly golden color. The natur^ surface is shghtly 
crystalline and shining, and when broken it has a scaly texture. <— 
8illiman*s Journal. 


The Secretary of the Interior, in his report to Congress, says, — 
" In applying the appropriation for the painting and repairs of the 
Capitol, it became necessary to examine with care the condition of 
the walls, and to remove such portions of the stone as were crumbling 
or falling oflfin scales, that the coat of paint might be laid upon a 
sound and solid surface. In this examination it was found that many 
of the stones, especially those near the base of the baildingi were 


disintegrated at the sarface, and some were so mneh and so deeply 
afTected, that it was necessary to remove them. The Capitol is a 
massive building, its walls are thick, and maintain a certain equality 
of temperature, changing slowly with the changes in the temperature 
of the air. In a change from cold to warm, the walls remain for a 
time cold, and there is condensed upon them a portion of the moisture 
of the atmosphere, as upon a pitcher containing ice-water in a sultry 
day. The stone, being porous, readily absorbs the moisture, and the 
natural cement, which seems to be slowly soluble in water, is dis- 
solved, or otherwise loses its adhesive power, and the stone crumbles 
to sand. A thick coat of paint, carefully applied from time to time, 
has been resorted to, to preserve, and no doubt tends to preserve, the 
building ; but unless some other and more permanent protection be 
resorted to, it is destined to early dilapidation. If left wholly unpro- 
tected from atmospheric action for one fifth of the time that marble 
structures are known to have stood, this noble edifice would become a 
mound of sand. 

'< The Treasury building and the present Patent-Office building 
are of the same material, and, having been in no manner protected, 
already show signs of decay. The cornice of the Treasury building, 
which exposes a heavy mass of stone to atmospheric action, begins to 
be moss-grown ; and pieces of the Patent-Office building have crum- 
bled and fallen. Besides its tendency to disintegration on exposure, 
the stone in its best condition is weak, oflfering little more resistance 
to a crushing force than common brick. These buildings cannot, with 
all possible care, be long preserved by the means at present adopted. 
But if the stone could be rendered permanently and absolutely im- 
permeable to moisture, the principal difficulty would be removed, and 
this may, perhaps, be done by some means known to the arts, or which 
may be discovered by experiment. For this purpose I would recom- 
mend that specimens of the stone be carefully analyzed, and that a 
series of experiments be tried with a view of finding some chemical 
agent, the application of which will prevent its absorption of moisture, 
and thus strengthen and render it durable." 

At the meeting of the American Association at Cambridge, in 
August, Prof. Walter R. Johnson stated that the materials of which 
the Washington Monument at Washington is being constructed are 
totally unfit for the purpose. He exhibited specimens of the marble, 
and mentioned many experiments that had been made, which render 
it not at all improbable that the monument will fail to pieces from its 
own weight before it is completed. A specimen of the stone, four 
cubic inches in dimensions, sustained a weight of only 9,000 pounds, 
while one cubic inch of good material sustained a weight of 18,000 


On the authority of a communication from J. H. Gibbon, Esq., of 
the Branch Mint at Charlotte, North Carolina, we give a condensed 
view of facts regarding a fall of meteoric masses in that State. 

On Wednesday, the 3l8t of October, at 3, P. M., several persons 


in the town of Gfaulotte w«re aatooiahad by a Mdden ezplosioB, fol- 
lowed at short intervals by two other reports, and by a rumbling in 
the air to the east and sooth. The sounds were distinct, and con- 
tinued more than half a miuute. Some attributed them to thunder, 
but there were no clouds. A report having reached Charlotte on the 
following Monday, that '' a wonderful rock had fallen from the skies 
on the plantation of Mr. Hiram Poet," Mr. Gibbon, with Dr. An- 
drews, travolled twenty-one miles for the purpose of seeing the rock. 
They found it to be a *' bluish gritty rock," of irregular form, eight 
inches long, six broad, and four thick, bearing marks in spots of re- 
cent fracture, but otherwise black, as if it had been exposed to heat 
and smoke, the black color being relieved where the crust had been 
broken, and a little of the clayey soil in which it was buried in its 
descent still adhered to it. It had the curved indentations usual in 
meteorites, as if it had been soft and had yielded to impressions, and 
lustrous metallic points appeared through the ground color, which 
had generally a bluish slaty appearance, but no such rock was known 
in the neighbourhood. It was said to weigh IQ^lbs. 

Mr. Post took the travellers to see the place where the mass fell. 
He was at the time in company with a young man ; they heard over- 
head a whiazing sound,*— the whole atmosphere appeared to be in 
commotion, and, though nothing was visible, they heard the stone 
strike east of them '* with a dull, heavy jar of the ground." On tho 
next morning, by sounding with a stick in the hole made by the stone 
in its fall, they found it, ten inches below the surface, about 300 
yards from the point where Mr. Post was at the moment of the fall. 
The stone is to be sent to Prof. C. U. Shepard, and in due time we 
shall have the result of his scientific examination ; but, from the cir- 
cumstances, we have no hesitation in admitting the case as genuine. 

A later letter from Mr. Gibbon renders it probable, that *' luminous 
materials were seen advancing from several points in the atmosphere 
towards a common centre, where a solid mass of heated metal ex- 
ploded, and was violently projected in different directions to the earth." 
It is stated, also, that there was a distinct appearance of a single 
fiery elongated body, like iron advanced to a white heat, sparkling in 
its passage from west to east, rising like a rocket, but not vertically, 
and passing throngh the air with a long white streak or tail following 
a denser body in the form of a ball of fire. At the explosion, the 
meteor was about 45^ high. The estimation of time between the 
disappearance of the light and the arrival of the sound was very dif- 
ferent, some making it as high as five minutes. This is, no doubt, 
too large, and the meteor was probably not over 15 or 20 miles from 
the earth when it exploded. It was seen through 250 miles^ from 
the line of Virginia to Sumpter District in South Carolina, and from 
east to west through 60 miles. — SilHman^s Journal, Jan,, 1850. 


The following account of the bone caves of Pennsylvania was 
communicated to the American Association for the Promotion of 


Science by Prof. Bahrd : — The discoyery of bone caTes in this coun- 
try is of a very recent date. They have been found for many years 
in Europe ; and in France in great numbers. In this continent there 
are on record but two cases of this kind ; one of them in Canada, the 
other in Virginia. Within the last two years, caves containing con- 
siderable quantities of bones have been discovered in various parts of 
Pennsylvania, particularly near Carlisle and on the Susquehanna. 
~ The principal cave occurs on the bank of the Susqnehanna, in the 
limestone rock, nearly on a level with the water, the entrance being 
ten feet high. The floor of the cave is nearly on a level with the 
extremity, and the cave itself is about 300 feet in length. On the 
bottom is a stratum of mud, in which numerous bones are iml^edded, 
about ten inches in depth. This lies above several other strata of 
deposits, of stalagmite, &c. There is a series of galleries near the 
roof of this cave, which can only be reached by ladders, being some- 
times eight or ten feet above the floor of the cave. These are filled 
with mud, and in this mud the bones are distributed. The remains 
have evidently come in from above, as there is no other possible 
means by which they could be filled to this height. The character 
of these remains is quite interesting, in some respects. The number 
of species of mammalia found there is nearly twice that of the species 
at present existing in Pennsylvania. Nearly 5 per cent, consist of 
extinct species ; the remaining 95 per cent, are recent. The recent 
bones are of various species of wolves, foxes, rabbits, bears, musk- 
rats, otters, lynxes, panthers, beavers, &.c. ' Besides the remains of 
mammalia, there are numerous remains of other vertebrata, — birds 
in great quantities, particulariy wild turkeys, and some of these of an 
enormous size, probably weighing thirty or forty pounds. There are 
numerous bones of the swan, several ducks, and some large water- 
birds. Prof. Baird has also found the humeri of birds quite as large 
as the pelican, and the lower jaw of a salamander, quite different from 
the existing species. Of tortoises, there are the remains of eight or 
ten different ones in great abundance ; and the bones of serpents are 
quite common. Some remains of fishes, vertebre, and scales, occur 
mixed with the mud. In that portion of the mud which forms the 
upper two or three inches of the floor, some Indian remains, such as 
arrow-heads and fragments of pottery, are very perfectly preserved. 
In relation to the origin of these bones, Prof. Baird remarks, — 
*' Whence came this vast accumulation of remains? I say ' vast,' 
because I possess of single species of deers, remains that must have 
belonged to more than one hundred individuals, and I am very far 
from having cleared out the cave. Various theories are proposed for 
the production of the bones. Some geologists have supposed that 
they have washed in from without; others that they have been 
dragged in by wild beasts ; and this latter theory is strengthened by 
the fact, that a great majority of the bones are of the weaker animals 
such as would naturally fall the prey of any carnivorous animal. 

*' It has appeared to me, from the examination of the peculiar cir- 
cumstances of the cave, that several causes have combined to furnish 
this accumulation. I can hardly assent to the theory, that water has 


278 AiriruAL or scientific discovert. 

been the meant of introdooing these bones, for there b no reason why 
there should be such an accumulation of the bones outside of the 
cave under any circumstances which would admit of their being' 
washed in. It is quite possible that many of them have been intro- 
duced by wild beasts ; and some of them bear tooth-marks, which 
were probably from the teeth of the animals which dragged them 
within the eave and devoured them there. But I am inclined to think 
that the principal source of this aocumalation is from the sink-holes 
above, with which these caves connect. 

** These sink-holes are curious depressions of the soil, found in 
limestone regions, varying in diameter from ten feet upwards, with an 
aperture at the bottom through which the water escapes. They are 
generally overgrown by small bushes, and are just the places to which 
such animals as the fox and wolf would resort to feed upon an animal 
just captured. Its bones would be left, after the repast, either in the 
hole or upon the side, until some heavy rain should occur, when the 
water of the surrounding country, of which these sink-holes are gen- 
erally the outlet, would carry them down into the cavity. These 
sink-holes, in almost all cases, communicate with excavations in the 
rock or soil beneath ; and most of our Pennsylvania caves I believe 
to have been formed by their action. A rain of unusual violence may 
close up the inlet into one of these cavee and then a new cave will be 
formed. I have not been able to trace in this cave any communica- 
tion with the external sink-holes ; but I have in other cases, and I 
have found a little mass of earth at the bottom, and, in many cases, 
bones introduced there within a few weeks or months, and sometimes 
even with the cartilage still upon them." 


At the meeting of the American Association for the Promotion of 
Science, Professor Chase, of Brown University, exhibited some huge 
bones of the Dinamis Nowb ZealanduB^ which are believed to be the 
first remains of this gigantic bird which have been brought to this 
country. They were presented by one of the chiefs of the North- 
em Islands to Captain Mayhew, of Martha's Vineyard. They be- 
longed to an extinct species of the Dinomis, recently described by 
Professor Owen, of England. There formerly existed upon the 
islands of New Zealand no less than six different species of the Dinor- 
nis, the largest of which is believed to have been about eleven feet in 
height. Though similar in structure and habits to the ostrich, its 
weight must have been three times as great. Fragments of egg- 
shells obtained show, by their slight concavity, that they exceeded by 
far in dimensions the egg of the ostrich ; and the young, when first 
' hatched, must have been nearly as large as a full-grown turkey. The 
footrprints of this enormous bird probably exceeded in size the largest 
of those found in the sandstone of the valley of the Connecticut. 
The second species in point of size was the Dinomis ingens. It 
was about nine feet in height, and was of more robust proportions 
than the first species. It was to the Dinomis ingms that the largest 


bones exhibited to the Associatioa belonged. A tibia of an ostrich, 
compared with a corresponding bone of this bird, seemed quite di- 
minutive. The Dinornis strouthoides was of about the same height 
as the ostrich, but of stouter proportions. The fourth species ^^ the 
Dinornis dr<muoide8, was of smaller dimensions. Its height may 
have been between five and six feet, which is the average height of 
the emu in captivity. The Dinornis didiformisy to which another 
of the tibial bones exhibited belonged, was a little larger than the ex- 
tinct dodo, to which it bore some resemblance. Its height was about 
four feet. The Dinornis otidiformis was not larger ^an the great 
bustard ( Otis tarda) from which the species is named. 

From the circumstances under which the bones of the Dinornis are 
found, as well as from their remarkable preservation, the bird is be- 
lieved to have been living within the historical period. Its extinction 
was probably effected, Uke that of the dodo, through the agency of man. 

A collection of the bonee of these enormous birds, amounting in all 
to 800 specimens, has been received from New Zealand, by Dr. 
Mantell, of England. The collection includes three distinct types, 
the particular members of which were of all dimensions, from those 
of a water-hen to a colossal bird ten or twelve feet high. The state 
of preservation of the bones is remarkable ; they are light and porous, 
and of a delicate fawn-color, resembling the bones from the caverns 
of Germany. A recent letter from Mr. Walter Mantell, in New Zea- 
land, gives the particulars concerning their locality and occurrence. 
They were found near the embouchure of the Waingongora, which 
rises in the volcanic ridge of Mount Egmont. The river seems 
recently to have changed its course, probably in consequence of 
the elevation of the land, and is now cutting through a lofty cliff of 
loose conglomerate, overlying a finely laminated sand. The latter 
rests on a blue clay, containing recent marine shells. In a loose sand 
drift, at the base of an ancient cliff, Mr. Mantell had an opening made, 
and soon came to the bed containing bones. These were at first so 
soft, that, if strongly grasped, they fell into day. Many bones were 
found, — some of them apparently lying in their natural position ; but 
the natives of the neighbouring villages gathered around him, and be- 
gan digging themselves, and not only interrupted his researches, but 
trampled on and destroyed the bones he had laid out in the sun to 
dry. AloDg with the bones were portions of egg-shells, one frag- 
ment measuring four inches long. 

From the examination of these bones, it appears that the beak of 
the Dinornis was like ai cooper's adze, and was probably designed to 
tear up the roots of plants ; the base of the -skull is prolonged below 
the foramen magnum, in a very extraordinary manner, for £e attach- 
ment of powerful muscles, by which the mandibles were acted upon. 

Professor Chase intimated that these gigantic birds had probably 
become extinct through the agency of man, and, in answer to an ob- 
jection raised by Professor Agassiz, that we have no geological evi- 
dence of the existence of man with extinct species of animals, Mr. 
Mantell replied, that such evidence had recently been discovered. 
Bones of this character had been found, by his brother, in the bed of 


a stream, ia Bome loose sand, where evidently was onoe the channel 
of a river. Digging down, he found the evidence of extinct fires ; 
and in these chaired places were found bones of this character, to- 
gether with human bones, those of a dog, the remains of shell-fish, 
and fragments of egg-shells curved in the contrary direction by the 
action of fire. The skin and beak of this monster bird had been 
found in this place. The reason for supposinff the animal to have 
been contemporaneoas with man was, that the bones presented a 
white appearance, which can only be produced by burning the bones 
while they contain animal matter. 


A FINE collection of the remains of the gigantic bipeds of New 
Zealand has recently been received, in England, from Mr. Walter 
Mantell, of Wellington. The series consists of upwards of 450 
bones, referable to several genera of birds ; they were obtained from 
two localities remote from each other, and under very different cir- 
cumstances. One series is in the same condition as those formerly 
received by Dr. Mantell, and among which were the skulls and man- 
dibles and egg-shells described by Professor Owen in the Zoological 
Transactions. These are from Uie west shore of the north island, 
and were dug up from a bed of marl and volcanic sand. The other 
series is from a tertiary deposit, on the coast of the south island, at 
a place called Waikonaiti. These belong principally to the most co- 
lossal species of DinomiSj the D. giganteus. The gems of this collec- 
tion are two entire legs and feet of the same individual, which were 
found erect, about a yard apart, in the very position in which they 
were when the bird was alive ; the twelve bones of each foot, to- 
gether with the tarso-metatarsals, are as fresh and perfect as if in- 
humed but a few years. Indications of winged birds, of genera, and 
probably species, still indigenous to the islands, are among these 
treasures.— iit^trary Gazette, November 17. 



A NUMBBR of singular footprints of a gigantic size have recently 
been found in the limestone strata on the Brushy River, Texas. They 
occur in the soft argillaceous limestone, and are as distinct as if they 
had been made in plastic clay. The stride is so large that a man of 
ordinary size can with difficulty jump from one footprint to another. 
The limestone in which they are found, we believe, is similar to that 
which extends through Austin, New Braunfels, and Bexar, and from 
the quarries in this rock, most of the stones in the Alamo, and other 
buildings of Bexar, were obtained. The strata contain many marine 
fossils, among which are the ammonite, nautilus, gryphite, &c. 
These footmarks, like those discovered in the red sandstone forma- 
tions, were probably made by an extinct species of bird. — Corpus 



Mr. Isaac Lea, of Philadelphia, gives the following account of the 
discoYery of fossil footprints in the old red sandstone near Pottsville, 
Pa. In examining the strata in the gorge of the Sharp Mountain, 
where the Schuylkill breaks through it, he was astonished to find, on 
a large mass of old red sandstone, six distinct impressions of foot- 
marks in a doable row of tracks, each mark being duplicated by the 
hind foot falling into the impression of the fore foot, but a little in ad- 
vance of it. The strata were tilted a little over the vertical, and the 
surface of the rock exposed was about twelve feet by six, the whole 
of which was covered with ripple-marks and the pit of rain-drops, 
beautifully displayed in the fine texture of the stone. The six double 
impressions distinctly showed, in the two parallel rows formed by the 
left feet on the one side, and the right on the other, that the animal 
had five toes on the fore feet, three of which toes were apparently 
armed with unguical appendages. The length of the double impres- 
sion was 4^ inches, the breadth 4 inches, the distance apart in the 
length of the animal^s step 13 inches, and across from outside to out- 
side 8 inches. The marks of the dragging of the tail were distinc; , 
but occasionally slightly obliterated a small part of the impressions of 
the footmarks. The footmarks assimilate remarkably to those of the 
recent alligator of the Mississippi. No such animal remains have 
heretofore been found so low in the geological series, so that these 
footmarks are of great interest. Their position was about 8,500 feet 
below the upper part of the coal formation at Pottsville, and by vari- 
ous measurements about 700 feet below the surface of the old red 
sandstone. Mr. Lea has named the animal supposed to have made 
these footmarks Sauropus prinusvus. The limestone of the old red 
sandstone exists at the locality where the footmarks were found ; it 
is about 2 feet thick, and underlies the footmarks about 65 feet. 


A LOCALITY of drift fossils has been discovered by Mr. Desor, in a 
clifif at the east end of Nantucket island. The outlines of the strata 
of the clifiT are somewhat obscured by the sand which has been blown 
over the surface, but about half way up is an oyster-bed, containing 
many fossils in a remarkably perfect condition ; even crab's claws be- 
ing found here unbroken. Its position indicates that it has not been 
no disturbed since it was formed. It contains most of the species found 
the neighbouring beaches. Specimens of Ventis are sometimes found 
with the valves open, as if from the relaxation of the muscles at the 
moment of death. 

Until within a few years, it has been supfmsed that there were no 
fossils in the drift south of Lake Champlain. In 1847, Mr. Desor 
discovered a fossil deposit on Long Island, the origin of which was 
doubtful, as the shells were much broken and worn. But at Nan- 
tucket, a point between these localities, the formation is now found to 
exist without the least trace of disturbance. The strata at the east 



end of this island dip towards the west, the angle of dip gradually 
increasing from the highest to the lowest. The identity of species 
between 3ie fossils and Uie shell-fish now liring on the adjacent shcores 
indicates a similarity of elimate at the time they .were deposited to 
the present. An opinion has prevailed among geologists, that at the 
epoch of the drift the climate was colder than it now is. 

Above the drift, on the surface of the island, boalders have been 
deposited. It is an interesting inquiry, how they could have attained 
their present position, above the bed of fossils, without disturbing 
them. The regularity of the stratum of sand under them, and the 
character of the climate, as indicated by the shells, are incompatible 
with an explanation based on the glacial theory. They could hardly 
have been brought by icebergs, for among them are masses of pud* 
ding stone, such as exists at Hingham and Roxbury, which rest here 
at a higher level than their source. Beneath the oyster-bank of Nan- 
tucket is a stratum of coarse, sandy clay, very much like that at the 
base of the cliff at Gray Head, which was regarded by Prof. Hitch* 
cock as a tertiary deposit. It is probable that these two formations 
are the outcrops of a tertiary basin which passes underneath the 
two islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard and the intervening 



In the fall of the year 1848, an interesting discovery of fossil bones 
was made in the new red sandstone of the valley of the Connecticut, 
at South Hadley, Mass. The workmen employed in excavating a 
canal brought to light, at a distance of a few feet below the surface, a 
nearly perfect skeleton of some unknown animal. Unfortunately, in 
the absence of the engineer, the bones were all destroyed. The rock 
in which they occurred is a bluish shale, and contains impressions 
of plants, grasses, &c. They were described, by those who saw 
them, as of a large size, one of them equalling the leg-bone of a 
horse. Their loss is highly to be regretted, as they would have 
probably throvm some light on the nature of the animals whose 
footprints are found so abundantly on the rocks of the Connecticut 


At the meeting of the American Association, 1849, a paper on the 
Fossil Crinoids of Tennessee, by Prof. Troost, was read by Prof. 
Agassiz. These fossiliferous remains were discovered in the carbon- 
aceous and Silurian strata of the State, and show a wonderful devel- 
opment of that form of animal on the shores during the paleozoic 
period. Thirty-one genera, sixteen of which are considered by Prof. 
Troost as new, are enumerated. The species embraced are not less 
than eighty-eight in number, of which only half a dozen have been 
described. It is the opinion of Prof. Hall, that all the Silurian forma- 


tioDS of New York will not afford more than sixty species, — twenty- 
seven of which have been found in a space not exceeding 100 feet 
squaie. The number of species that were known in the State of 
New York, prerions to the beginning of the geological survey, 
did not exceed four or five. Now about sixty species have been 
ascertained. Prof. Hall mentioned the fact, that all the crinoids of 
the lower silurian rocks, with the exception of one species, have five 
pelvic plates, and we never find one with three, or any other number 
of these plates, before we reach the highest deposits. In Tennessee 
the crinoids are so abundant, that Prof. Troost states that he had been 
able to collect some 300 or 400 good specimens of 7 or 8 different 
species in a single morning. In relation to the abundance of these 
fossils in the United States, Prof. Agassiz remarked, that it is not, 
perhaps, sufficiently appreciated of what importance and of what im- 
mense value the study of these fossil crinoids may be for the progress 
of palsontology. American students should be proud of these mate- 
rials, by which they will be able to throw so much light upon these 
almost extinct families by their personal investigations, which will not 
only render them independent of the paleontologist from abroad for 
information with regard to the succession of types, and the full illus- 
tration of these structures, but really afford correct standards for com- 
parison. It is the more desirable that all these fossils should be made 
known, as the family of crinoids is so reduced in our days that we 
can form no idea of the living animals of that group, of their diver- 
sity of form, modification of character, and peculiarity of position, 
from the living type only. He doubted whether the number of 
crinoid heads of all species found in Europe, now existing in the mu- 
seums of Europe, is one third the number of those which have been 
found by a single gentleman in Tennessee in one morning. Now 
with such materials, consider what precise and what minute investiga- 
tions could be made. And if these facts could be once fully ascer- 
tained and well illustrated, there is no doubt that the series of crinoids, 
and their succession in former ages, will be established from American 
standards, and will no longer rest upon the European evidence, which 
has oflen been derived from the examination of small fragments of 
those ancient fossils, found in unconnected basins for the most part, so 
that their geological succession could be ascertained only with great 
doubt and difficulty. In conclusion. Prof. Agassiz would venture to 
say, that geologists who have had any. opportunity to compare the 
position of the ancient rocks on this continent with the corresponding 
deposits of Europe, would agree with him in saying that the geology 
proper, the stratography of this continent, will afford the same pre- 
cise and well-authenticated standards for the appreciation of the order 
of succession of rocks, as fossils will for the order of succession of 
living beings. 


PiiOF. NiLssoN, of Lund, in his " Skandin^s Daggdjur^^* has an ac- 
count of the bovine anhnals of Scandinavia, in which he makes some 


interesting observations on the foesfls of that species, but he confines 
himself mostly to a colossal ox, which he supposes to be the Vrtu 
mentioned by Cesar in his Comraentaries. This colossal species of 
ox, to judge from the skeleton, resembled the tame ox in the form 
and the proportions of its body, but in its bulk it was far larger. Ac- 
cording to 9\\ accounts, the color of the ox was black, and it had white 
horns, with long black points ; the hide was covered with hair like the 
tame ox, but it was shorter and smooth. The whole length of one 
skeleton, which was not full grown at the time of the animal's death, 
from the nape to end of the rump bones, is 9 feet, and, with the head, 
the whole ler^h of the animal is about 12 feet, while the height is 6 
to 6i feet. The circumference of the crown of the horn Ja 14 inches, 
the length of the spinal column 7 feet 7 inches, and the greatest 
length of one of the middle ribs 2 feet 5 inches. It will thus be 
seen that Caesar's remark, that it was "in size little inferior to the 
elephant," was not so much exaggerated as some have supposed. 
We have good proof that this colossal species of ox has lived in 
Europe since the country has been inhabited by men, for a few years 
since a skeleton was found, one of the bones of which has in it the 
wound caused by some weapon, which anatomists all agree must have 
been thrown by the hand of man. 


M. Barrande, of Prague, who is preparing a work on the Silurian 
System of Bohemia, in studying the numerous trilobites which he 
has collected in that country, has made a remarkable discovery in 
respect to these the most ancient fossil crustaceans known. He has 
traced for the first time the development of a trilobite from its em- 
bryonic state to its adult condition, and has observed twenty succes- 
sive stages, during which this one species undergoes very remarkable 
changes of organization, passing from a simple disk-like body to a 
fully formed trilobite, with seventeen free thoracic segments and two 
caudal joints. This discovery is highly important to geologists, as it 
diminishes the number of the so-called species, it bemg ascertained 
that, in a recent work on these same trilobites of Bohemia, the authors 
made no less than ten genera and eighteen species out of a part only 
of the stages of metamorphosis of the single individuals. — London 
AtheruBum, July 7. 


M. Paul Gervais has just discovered, in the upper tertiary stratum 
of Montpellier, in France, a species of fossil ape, probably belonging 
to the macaque genus. On comparing this discovery with previous 
ones, it appears that fossil apes have been discovered in the three 
principal tertiary strata of Western Europe, that is to say, in every 
part of the level of sedimentary earths in which the bones of mam- 
malia abound. If man had existed at the period when these strata 
were deposited, the non-discovery hitherto of the slightest trace of 

a£OLOor« 385 

human skeletons, or remains attesting human industry, would he very 
astonishing. The discovery of these fossil apes Lb, therefore, an ad- 
ditional indirect proof of the very inferior antiquity of man on the 
earth. — Le ConstittUtoTineL 


The Potsdam sandstone, which forms the basis of the lower Silu- 
rian rocks of the New York series, has usually been considered to be 
the oldest of the fossiliferous rocks in the geological foimations of 
this country. Mr. Desor, at a meeting of the Boston Natural History 
Society, in NoTcmber, stated, that there had recently been discovered 
on the St. Croix River, eight hundred feet below the Potsdam sand- 
Stone, a still more ancient rock containing several species of fossiJs. 
Specimens of lingula, in a fine state of preservation, were exhibited, 
and trilobites have also been found. These interesting remains are 
probably the earliest representatives of animal life on this continent. 


The workmen on the Burlington and Rutland Railroad, while dig- 
ging, a short time since, in Charlotte, about twelve miles south of Bur- 
ungton, came across the skeleton of some unknown animal, deeply 
imbedded in a fine adhesive blue clay. Little attention was paid to 
the matter at the time, and unfortunately most of the bones were cart- 
ed off. Enough of them, however, have since been obtained, by the 
Roy. Mr. Thompson, to enable him to determine all the important 
characteristics of the animal to which they belonged, and to give a 
drawing representing its proportions. He states that the bones discov- 
ered are those of a cetaceous animal (or some sea animal of the 
whale kind) , resembling the dolphin. Prof. Agassiz, after a careful 
examination of the bones, has arriyed at the conclusion, that it is an 
arctic species, nearly allied to the Delphinus kucas, or grampus. 
In size it was about eleven feet in length, and six feet in circumfer- 
ence. The bones found were in a tolerably good state of preserva- 
tion. The skull was badly broken by the workmen, as well as the 
ribs. Nearly all the vertebne were obtained, as well as half the lower 
jaw, one long rib, an anterior rib, some teeth, the sternum, and por- 
tions of the arms and paddles. The formation in which it occurred is 
the post-pliocene. The locality is about one mile from Lake Cham- 
plain, 60 feet above the level of the lake, and 150 above that of the 
sea ; associated with the bones were several varieties of shells, most- 
ly of arctic species, and impressions of flags or grasses. Mr. Thomp- 
son considers that the animal was imbedded in a sort of marsh, in 
which the rushes were growing, on the borders of an estuary, or strait 
of the ocean, of which the present bed of Lake Champlain formed a 
part. In support of this view, he mentions, in addition to what is 
stated above, that it was buried 8 feet deep in the quagmire, and be- 
low it were rounded pebbles. 




At the meeting of the American Association for the Promotion of 
Science, 1849, Prof. Agassiz exhibited the tooth and tusk of an ele- 
phant recently discovered in Vermont. It was found in the construo- 
tion of the Rutland and Burlington Railroad, upon the slope of Mount 
Holly, one of the highest mountains in Vermont, and, it is said, under 
erratic boulders. The specimens in question had been presented to 
the Lawrence Scientific School, by Mr. Samuel Henshaw, of Boston. 
Professor Agassiz remarked, that this was the first true elephant found 
in a fossil condition in the Northern American States, and was of a 
different species from that found in the caves of Kentucky. It was a 
question, whether this was identical with the fossil European elephants 
or not. He deeply regretted that there were no specimens with which 
he could compare these teeth, but he would venture, from recollection, 
to predict that, upon d(irect comparison, they would be found to differ 
from the European, in the same proportion that the mastodons dif- 
fered. He thought these grinding-teeth had much narrower lamellae, 
and that the tusk was much more slender. The curve of the tusk 
was scarcely greater than in the Asiatic elephant, while the European 
fossil was much more curved. 

Professor Rogers remarked, that he had already, several years 
since, presented his views to the Association respecting the physical 
geography of this part of the United States, at the era of the drift. 
He had shown that New England and New Brunswick constituted an 
island, detached from the continent, like Great Britain at the present 
day. From the researches, chiefly of Mather, Emmons, and others, 
we must now admit that there were two drifts. Up to the time of the 
first, the mastodon could not have crossed the straits. 

Dr. Warren remarked, that this discovery formed an epoch in the 
paliBontology of New England. North River seemed to have sepa- 
rated the animals of New England from those of the continent. 


Mr. Brandt, at the request of Humboldt, has communicated to the 
St. Petersburg Imperial Academy the results of his microscopic ex- 
amination of the remains of food in the hollows of the teeth of the 
antediluvian rhinoceros, of which the Academy possesses a complete 
cranium still covered with the skin. It appears that this species of 
rhinoceros fed on the leaves and firuit of coniferous plants, so that 
there is no reason for supposing that the fossil animals found bur- 
ied in arctic countries have ever lived in a tropical region. The 
bushy hair with which they were clothed, and the examples of mam- 
moths found in an upright position, rather incline him to adopt the 
opinion that they lived in the countries and climate where they were 
found, than to have recourse to the hypothesis either of a sudden 
change of temperature in the climate, or of the transportation of their 
remains from a far distant country. — Jameson's Journal, July, 

GEOLOor. 287 



The curious in natural history have frequently noticed, that they 
never met with, in the fields or forests, the skeletons of animals, such 
as hares and rabbits, that live in a natural state, and though rewards 
for such skeletons were oflfered to gamekeepers and others, none were 
ever brought to them. The Count de Montlosier had noticed this cu- 
rious fact, and it had occurred to him to examine yarious caves in the 
neighbourhood of his residence, but he found no skeletons, till one 
day he entered a cave which had previously been passed over on ac- 
count of its small entrance, and there he discovered a vast number of 
skeletons, which appeared to be those of hares or rabbits. The bones 
were perfect, and Uie cartilages preserved, showing^ that they could not 
have been brought there by any beasts of prey. This fact is stated in 
the Coimt's recently published Memoirs. — Ibid, 


M. Gervais Communicated to the French Academy, on March 12th, 
that he had just received from Algiers a drawing of the molar tooth 
of a fossil elephant, whose genus is very easily recognized, and which 
indicates a species more resembling those found in a fossil state in Eu- 
rope, than the present African elephant. This tooth was found at 
Cherchell, in the province of Oran. Sicily has hitherto been the 
southernmost point on the Mediterranean where the fossil elephant 
has been found. 

At the same time he also mentioned the discovery, near Constan- 
tino, of some fossil remains of mastodons. Though fossil remains of 
this animal have been previously found in all the other portions of the 
world, these are the first discovered in Africa. The remains found 
are a tooth and a rib, and, as far as can be judged from a drawing, 
they belonged to an animal more resembling tne Mastodon brevirostre, 
or the arvemensiSf than the Mastodon angustodens, 


Professor Redfield exhibited to the American Association speci- 
mens of mammalian remains, which had been found in Broome County, 
on an elevated ridge separating the Delaware from the Susquehanna 
Rivers. Whatever causes, observed Mr. Redfield, may be assigned 
for the occurrence of these animal remains in this locality, we must 
admit that this deposit took place at a period anterior to that in which 
the present level of the railway and the general surface of the country 
adjacent became covered with the drift in its existing form ; or at least 
anterior to the vast period in which the incumbent materials, forty feet 
in depth, have been accumulated. The overlying deposits appear 
not to differ materially from those which cover many other portions of 
the contiguous country ; while there are other portions, more exposed, 
in which large and rounded boulders and worn pebbles are thickly dis- 


Seraed. He also piesented specimens of firasilsy taken from two boul- 
BTS of rocks in the drift of Orange, N. J., which belong, generally, 
to the Delthyris limestone and Onskany sandstone of the New York 
system. These boulders must have had their origin at some point 
not less distant than the valley of the Rondout, the nearest outcrop of 
these rocks having thus been carried over the highlands by the active 
agencies of the drift period. 


Dr. Mantell has added to his interestinff discoveries of fossil liz- 
ards, an arm-bone, or humerus, fifty-four incmes long. <* It is closely 
allied, in form and proportion, to the humerus of a crocodile." Dr. 
M. has sent to the Royal Society a memoir on the subject of this new 
species, and it will probably be soon published. — SilUman^s Journal, 
Jan., 1850. 


AccoRDiNo to Dr. Gibbes, of South Carolina, remains of eight spe- 
cies or ^nera of mosasaurus have been found in the United States. 
The relics found in New Jersey have been determined by Professor 
Agassiz to belong to only one species. Those of another species 
were found on the Upper Missouri, and have been carried to Europe. 
These remains were very perfect and valuable, and are now in the Mu- 
seum at Bonn. Dr. G. has described a small species from Alabama, 
another from South Carolina, and a third from Georgia. Three gene- 
ra of mosasauroid fossils, from Alabama and South Carolina, have 
been also found and described. 


In a paper on this subject, read before the Academy of Berlin, 
Ehrenberg first draws attention to the results of his former researches, 
that the Rocky Mountains are a more powerful barrier between the 
two sides of America than the Pacific Ocean is between America and 
China ; the infusorial forms of Oregon and California being wholly 
difierent from those of the east side of the mountains, while they are 
partly identical with Siberian species. This fact is confirmed by his 
examinations of earth ftom the gold region of California, and from the 
Chutes River of Oregon, obtained by Fremont. The latter deposit is 
situated at an elevation of 700 or 800 feet, and constitutes a bed, 500 
feet thick, of porcelain clay. It is overlaid by a layer of basalt 100 feet 
thick. Ehrenberg has made out seventy-two species of polygastrica, 
with siliceous shells, sixteen epecies of phytolythurians, and three of 
crystalline forms. The Discoplea and RaphoTieis Oregonica are the 
only two species characteristic of the locality. The beds are more re- 
cent than those of the Klackamus River, a few miles from the falls 
of the Wiilammet. — SiUiman^s Journal, January, 1850. 




Wb find, in the Philosophical Transactions for 1848, an interesting 
notice of a paper by Professor Macaire, of Geneva, in Switzerland, on 
the directions assumed by plants in growing. The author first exam- 
ines experimentally into the causes of the curling up of the tendrils^ 
which Knight endeavoured to explain by the unequal action of the 
light on both sides of the tendril, and which was attributed by De Can- 
doUe to the obstacle afforded to vegetation by the contact of the leaf- 
stalk with the body adhered to, on the side where it touches. Profes- 
sor Macaire selected, to experiment upon, a common Swiss weed, and 
he found, that, when the tendril is touched by any solid body what- 
ever on a point of the surface not too far from the extremity, it at once 
contracts on one side, so as to form a curve over the surface of the 
body, and to embrace it closely, till seven or eight coils have been 
formed around it, and this is done so rapidly, that three turns of the 
helix are sometimes made in fifteen minutes. The nature of the 
body presented has no influence on Jthe process, the tendrils coiling as 
rapidly over one substance as another. As these and other phenom- 
ena cannot he accounted for by any action so slow as the ordinary pro- 
cess of nutrition, it seems necessary to admit the existence of irrita- 
biUty as a vital property inherent in the tissues of the tendrD ; this 
property is found to cease when the tendril is separated from the par- 
ent, and, like the irritability of sensitive plants, it is excited, modified, 
and even suspended or destroyed, by the influence of vegetable or 
mineral poisons. 

The next subject examined is the inclination of stems towards this 
light J which De Candolle ascribed to the more rapid and more complete 
solid^cation of the tissue by exhalation and fixation of carbon on the 
side of the stem exposed to the light. Professor Macaire first inquires, 
if such a special attraction is exercised by light on the green parts of 
a plant as to cause the entire plant to move towards light, if permitted 
to do so ; and his experiments on duck-weed, and on germinating 
plants of various kinds, attached to cork floats, lead him to a negative 



eoncloBion. He found that, howeyer long it might be neeeasary for a 
stem to grow in order to reach the light, its base attached to the float 
always remained on the same spot. In one instance, a germinate seed 
of mustard having been placed on a float in a tumbler surrounded by 
dark paper, but near an aperture admitting luminous rays, the plant 
put forth a stem, which passed all round the tumbler to spread its 
leayes in the part of the vessel in which was the luminous aperture ; 
once there, it did not extend itself beyond it, but grew erect, although 
the light was not strong enough to render it entirely green. Thus, 
although a slight motion of the float would have brought the entire 
plant within range of the light, its position remain^ wholly un- 
changed. The observations of Professor Macaire are opposed to the 
hypothesis of De Candolle in this case, as in the preceding, since he 
found that the stems grew straight towards the light, without the in- 
curvation or bending which that hypothesis assumes. Where young 
plants already vigorous were placed on the floats in the dark portion of 
the vessel, their green stems took little or no ulterior development, 
but from the neck of the root there grew out another stem, white and 
etiolated, which spread itself along the water to reach the light por- 
tion of the vessel, where it grew erect, and put forth its leaves. 

The next subject examined was the direction of the leaves^ that is, 
the tendency of those which have two surfaces of different hues to 
expose the deeper-colored to the sky, and the paler to the earth. Pro- 
fessor Macaire's experiments lead him to the same conclusion that 
other physiologists have come to, that light is the only agent in turn- 
ing over the leaves, and that it does not act by a physical attraction, 
properly so called, but by its influence upon the individual parts of the 
tissues on which it falls. This influence is the more rapid and ener- 
getic, all other circumstances beinff alike, the greater the difference 
between the two surfaces of the leaves experimented on. It was 
maintained by Bonnet and Dutrochet, that tne turning over of the 
leaves always takes place by a flexion or tension of the footstalk ; but 
Professor Macaire has demonstrated, that the flat portion of the leaf, or 
even a separate portion of it, can turn itself over. Thus, when an en- 
tire branch of geranium was immersed in water in such a way as to 
expose the under surface only of its leaves, to the light, all the young 
leaves turned themselves over in three days, by moving on the point 
of insertion of the flat part of the leaf into the footstalk ; and in other 
experiments, in which, by means of a screen, the light was prevented 
from falling upon the u(Iper surface of the leaves, and by a mirror was 
directed to the lower, the margins of the leaves bent down in such a 
manner as to bring their upper surfaces within the influence of the 
mirror. Upon repeating these experiments, with glasses of different 
colors, it was found that the leaves turned over most readily in blue 
rays, and next in violet, but that they remained motionless in red. 

Professor Macaire next inquires experimentally, how far these re- 
sults are attributable to the influence of light on the nutritive func- 
tions, in which the leaves are concerned, and comes to the conclusion 
that their explanation is to be sought here. He found that the exha- 
lation of fluid from the leaves is always greatly augmented by the ex- 

BOTANY. 291 

posure of their under surfaces to light, the increase heing double, 
triple, or even more. It is obvious, that this is one principal cause of 
the unhealthiness of leaves, which results from the inverted position 
being forced upon them. Another cause is to be found in the diminu- 
tion of the rate of decomposition of carbonic acid, which takes place 
under the same circumstances, and to about the same extent. Accord- 
ing to Professor M., the exhalation is greater under blue glass than it 
is in diffused light, and the difference in the amount of it from the 
upper and under surfaces respectively is most strongly marked ; on 
the other hand, the amount of exhalation under red glass is reduced 
to about a sixth, and the difference between the quantity exhaled from 
the two surfaces is proportionably lessened. 


At the meeting of the American Association for the Promotion of 
Science, 1849, a communication on the polar plant was presented from 
Major B. Alvord, U. S. A. This plant, which is also known as the 
compass plant, derives its name from the fact, that its lower leaves are 
said to present their faces uniformly to the east and west, the plane of 
the leaf being north and south, or coinciding with the meridian plane. 
It is found abundantly in various portions of the West, particularly in 
the vicinity of Fort Leavenworth, in Southern Michigan, and on the 
prairies generally from Texas to Iowa. In the valleys, or lower por- 
tions of the rolling prairies, where most sheltered from the winds, the 
polarity of the leaves is most accurate, and the plants are seen ar- 
ranged all parallel to each other. This is true of the radical leaf, from 
one to two feet in height, before it grows up to the flowering plant, as 
it does in the second year. The peculiarities of the plant are well 
known and recognized by the hunters, trappers, officers of the army, 
and others, who have traversed the prairies, and it is said that the In- 
dians are accustomed to make use of it as a guide in cloudy weather. 
As the polarity of the plant has been called in question by some dis- 
tinguished botanists, Major Alvord referred to the statements of nu- 
merous distinguished officers, none of whom, in any of their prairie 
expeditions, have ever noticed a departure of the leaves from their di- 
rection, except when there was some assignable cause apparent to in- 
terfere with Its growth, such as winds, the trampling of buffalo, or cat- 
tle, &c. In endeavouring to account for this seeming polarity, some 
have suspected the presence of iron, in some of its compounds, in the 
plant, but a careful analysis gave no trace of it with the most delicate 
tests. Others have conjectured that the polarity is due to electrical 
currents, as the plant is full of resinous matter, and sometimes called 
the rosirirweed, 

A note from a gentleman in Wisconsin was then presented by Dr. 
Gray, which describes the plant as follows : — " The large radical 
leaves of this species of the sun-flower tribe, when growing in tufts 
or bunches on the dry, open prairies, rise so much above the grassy 
turf as to form conspicuous objects ; and when thus exposed, they 
generally present their flat surfeces towards the rising and setting sun, 


— thoB tmmin^ their nameroos pointed lobes towasda the north and 
south. Hence it is called the * compass plant,' and is oseivl as a gnide 
across the prairies.*' Dr. Gray stated, that it is a well-known fact, 
that leaves ordinarily turn their upper surface to the light ; but ver- 
tical leaves, as those in question incline to be, tend to take a position 
which exposes the two surfaces equally to the light of the son ; and 
such upright radical leaves, by presenting their surfaces to the east 
and west, most nearly fulfil this condition. In the specimens of this 
plant ^winff in the Botanic Garden, at Cambridge, Mass., the leaves 
are quite as mijuently turned in other directions as towards north and 
south, or do not present the edges of their leaves in any one plane 
more than in anotner. Dr. Gray alluded to the common belief, that 
the sun-flower turns towards the sun, and said that the fact had found 
its way into poetry, and out of the domain of science, and is now re- 

farded, in scientific works, as a popular fallacy. The heavy sun- 
ower stands in unstable equilibrium on its stalk, and is liable to nod 
by its own weight. Doubtless it is more apt to droop towards the 
sun than in any other direction, simply on the ground of the sun's ae» 
tion on a sultry day promoting the exhalations from the side of the 
stalk on which it shmes, vnlting it, as it were. But that it follows 
the sun in its diomal course, is net believed to be the ftct 

Professor Morris, of Jackson, Miss., remarked, that in journeying 
upon the prairies, for several years, he had observed in running com* 
pass lines north and south, the edge of the leaf was seen, so that the 
plant was not all conspicuous ; but in running lines east and west, the 
whole plant was seen, and it was a very conspicuous objeet. The 
botanical namp of this {dant is SUphivm ladmaitum. 


PaoFKsaoB AoAssiz, in a lecture upon the trees of America, stated 
a remarkable fact in regard to the family of the rose, which includes 
among its varieties, not only many of the most beautiful flowers which 
are known, but tUso the richest fruits, such as the apple, pear, peach, 
plum, apricot, cherry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, &c. ; namely, 
that no fossils of plants belonging to thisfamUy have ever been discov- 
ered by geologists ! This he regarded as conclosive evidence, that the 
introduction of this femily of plants upon the earth was coeval with, 
or subsequent to, the creation of man, to whose comfort and happiness 
they seem especially designed by a wise Providence to coatribttte. 


At the conclusion of a paper read before the British Association, 
by Giles Mumby, Esq., on the '' Botanicpl Productions of the King- 
dom of Algiers," we find the following passage : — ''I shall conclude 
this paper by noticing a lichen called L, escuUntus^ and which agrees, 
at least more nearly than any other substance hitherto discovered, with 
the description of the manna on which the Israelites fed during their 
wanderings in the desert* This lichen is found on the sand of the 

BOTANT. 293 

desert, which it coyers in some parts, and grows during the night, as 
do many mushrooms. The French soldiers, during an expedition to- 
wards the south of Constantine, actually subsisted upon it for some 
days, cooking it in various ways, and even making it into bread. I 
do not pretend, to explain the miraculous portions of the history of 
the manna, nor the double quantity gathered on the sixth day. There 
are a few characters in the account given by Moses which disagree 
with the substance I have presented to you, yet the discovery of a 
substance springing up in the short space of a night, on the surface 
of the sandy desert, and that substance capable of sustaining human 
life, is, to say the least, a remarkable fact, and one well worthy the 
examination and researches of botanists." 


All the mannas are saccharine exudations of plants, and resemble 
each other very closely in their chemical constitution. Their prin- 
cipal constituents are gum, sugar, and the substance called mannite, 
which derives its name from its source, and has been hitherto consid- 
ered as the peculiar characteristic of manna. Dr. Thomas Anderson, 
a Scotch chemist, has, however, recently analyzed a specimen of 
manna from the interior of Australia Felix, which does not contain 
any mannite. It is found in great abundance on the leaves of the 
young mallee plant The natives call it lerp, and it is " very sweet, 
and is formed by an insect on the leaves of gum-trees ; in size and 
appearance like a flake of snow, it feels like matted wool, and tastes 
like the ice on wedding-cake." It is very nutritive, and adheres to 
the leaves so slightly, that it is washed oflfby rain. In opposition to 
the opinion, that it is the product of insects, the natives assert that it 
is the spontaneous production of the mallee or gum scrub, and that it 
grows on both sides of the leaves. On a chemical examination, the 
lerp is found to consist of small conical cups, covered externally with 
a number of white hairs curled in various directions ; the hairs are 
not distributed over the whole external surface, but are usually at- 
tached to the middle portion. The cups adhere loosely to one an- 
other by the edges. Under the microscope, each hair is seen to form 
a uniform tube, presenting a granular structure. The hairs and cup 
are colored blue when touched by iodine, indicating that they contain 
starch. The sweet taste is confined to the hairs. In fact, it differs 
both in form and chemical constitution from all other mannas, as has 
been found by long examination. The question of the origin of the 
lerp is a subject of great difilculty, for, as it is in part insoluble, we 
cannot suppose that it exudes from a leaf when punctured by some 
insect, as is the case with the other mannas. Chemists who have 
examined it assert that it cannot be the product of an insect, while, on 
the other hand, some entomologists have gone so far as to establish, 
on the strength of it, an entirely new genus of inBecstB.^- Jameson^ s 
Magazine, July. 

25 • 



'* Many opioioBB have been given as to the fruit called loins, de- 
scribed by Herodotus, Pliny, Theophrastus, and other ancient writers, 
and which gave its name to a whole people, who were called Loto- 
fhagu I have received from M. Pelisier, Consul of France at Sons- 
sa, near Tripoli, specimens of a plant called NUraria tridentaia ; it is 
a small prickly shrub, agreeing in description with the lotus of the 
ancients, and, moreover, the fruit is pleasant to the tasto, and has a 
slightly intoxicating property, quito sufficient to make a man forget 
his country whilst under the influence of it ; it is called by the Ar^ 
demouch. I think this plant has greater daims than any other to be the 
lotus, both from the description of the plant and fruit, and also from 
its geographical position, the region of the Lotophagi being to the 
eastward of the kingdom of Algiers. 

'* I cannot pass over a new species of Stapelia, named by Decaisne 
Baucerosia Mtrndn/ana, and discovered hj me in the neighbourhood of 
Oran, which is intoreeting in a geographical point of view ; it is well 
known that the great seat of Stapelias is at the Cape of Grood Hope, and, 
until lately, only one species occurred in Europe as a representative of 
this genus; I speak of Stapelia ^htropaa, which is found in Sicily, 
and the southern coast of Spain. The discovery of an allied species, 
on an intermediate point, is, I conceive, very interesting, and will in 
all probability form the second link in a chain which will connect the 
bumble Stapelia Euirop(Ba with the remarkable Cape i^ecies." — Mr* 
G, Mumbrfy before the British Association. 


*' ApRii« 28. We picked up a large piece of bitumen on the sea- 
shore to-day. It was excessively hot to the touch. We gathered 
also some of the blossoms and the green and dried fruits of the osher 
for preservation. The dried fruit, the product of last year, was ex- 
tremely brittle, and crushed with the slightest pressure. The green, 
half-formed fruit of this year was soft and elastic as a puflf-ball, and, 
like the leaves and stem, yields a viscous, white, milky fluid, when 
cut. Dr. Robinson very aptly compared it to the miUcweed. The 
Arabs consider this fluid a cure for Irarrenness. 

'* This fruit is doubtless the genuine apple of Sodtmi, for it is fair 
to the eye and bitter to the taste, and, when ripe, is filled with fibre 
and dust. Four jars containing specimens are placed in the Patent- 
Office at Washington. The firat notice taken of the apple of Sodom 
is by Josei^us, who says that they have a color as if fit to be «a(en, 
but, if plucked, they dissolve into smoke and ae^es. Tacitus mentions 
them, as does De Chartres in 1100, and, later, Baumgarten and others. 
Yet many have heretofore derided their accounts as fabulous, and 
among those who believed them to be true, there has been a great dif- 
ference of opinion as to the class of fruit to which the apple of Sodom 
belongs. One considered it the fruit of a hawthorn, and another, of a 
species of solanumy and with this opinion Linnsus agreed. Others re- 

BOTANY. ^96 

ferred it to the fig-tree or the pomegranate. The plant which we saw, 
in various places along the shores of the Dead Sea, resembled very 
closely the milkweed, which is so common in the United States ; it 
is, in fact, a dosely allied plant, being the Asclepias procera of the 
earlier writejs, now, however, forming part of the genus Caloiropis, 
This plant occurs in many parts of the Bast, and was known as early 
as the time of Theophrastus. It is a tall, perennial plant, with thick, 
dark green, shining, opposite leaves, on very short footstalks ; the 
powers are interminal, and have axillary umbels of a purple color, 
containing numerous flattened, brown seeds, each furnished with a 
silky plume or pappus. The bark, especially at the lower part of the 
stem, is c(»:k-like, and much fissured. If it be cut, or a leaf torn off, 
a viscoijLs, milky juice exudes, which is exceedingly acrid, and even 
jcaustic, and is said to be used in Egypt as a depilatory. In Persia, 
this ^plant is said to exude a bitter and acrid manna, owing to the 
puncture of insects. Chardin says that it is poisonous. Both the 
plant and its juice have been used in medicine, and probably are iden- 
tical with the mudar, or madar, of India, which has attracted so much 
notice as a remedy for diseases of the skin." — Lynches Expedition to 
the Dead Sea^ 


*' This highest region [of Mount Washington] is characterized by 
an assemblage of Alpine or arctic plants, and by a variety of mosses 
and lichens specificadly ideatical with those of Northern Europe. 
The flora of the uppermost region of Mount Washington consists of 
species which are natives of the cold climate of Labrador, Lapland, 
Greenland, and Siberia, and are knpatient, says Bigelow, of drought, as 
well as of both extremes of heat aad cold ; they are, therefore, not at 
all fitted to flourish in the ordinary climate of New England. But 
they are preserved here, during winter, from injury, by a great depth 
of snow, and the air, in summer, never attains, at this elevation, too 
high a temperature, while the ground below is always cool. When 
the snow melts they shoot up instantly, with vigor proportioned to the 
length of time they have been dormant, rapidly unfold their flowers, 
and mature their fruits, and run through the whole course of their 
vegetation in a few weeks, irrigated by clouds and mists. 

** If we attempt to speculate on the manner in which ihe peculiar 
species of plants, now establi^ed on the highest summits of the 
White Mountains, were enabled to reach those isolated spots, while 
none of them are met with in the lower lands around, or for a great 
distance to the north, we shall find ourselves engaged in trying to 
solve a philosophical problem, which requires the aid, not of botany 
alone, but of geology, or a knowledge of the geographical changes 
which iaimediately preceded the {oesent state of the earth's surface. 
We have to explain how an arctic flora, consisting of plants specifi- 
cally identical with those which now inhabit lands bordering the sea, in 
the extreme north of America, Europe, and Asia, could get to the 
top of Mount Washington. Now, geology teaches us that the species 


liTtnf? at present on the earth are older than many parts of our exist- 
ing continents ; that is to say, they were created before a large part of 
the existing mountains, yalleys, plains, lakes, rivers, and seas were 
formed. In 1833, 1 announced my conviction that such mnst be the 
case in Sicily. And a similar conclusion is no less obvious to any 
naturalist who has studied the structure of North America, and ob- 
served the wide area occupied by the modern or glacial deposits, in 
which marine fossil shells of living, but northern, species are en- 
tombed. It is clear, that a great portion of Canada, and the country 
surrounding the great lakes, was submerged beneath the ocean when 
recent species of mollusca flourished, of which the fossil remains oc- 
cur more than 500 feet above the level of the sea, near Montreal. 
Lake Champlain was a gulf of the sea at that period, large areas in 
Maine were under water, and the White Mountains must have consti- 
tuted an island, or group of islands. Yet, as this period is so modem 
in the earth's history as to belong to the epoch of the existing marine 
fauna, it is fair to infer that the arctic flora, now contemporary with 
man, was then also established. 

" A careful study of the present distribution of animals and plants 
over the globe has led nearly all the best naturalists to the opinion, 
that each species had its origin in a single birthplace, and spread 
gradually from its original centre, to all accessible spots fit for its 
habitation, by means of the powers of migration given to it from the 
first. If we adopt this view, or the doctrine of ' specific centres,' 
there is no difllculty in comprehending how the ayptogamaus plants 
[those in which the flowers are wanting, as the mosses, ferns, &c.] of 
Siberia, Lapland, Greenland, and Labrador scaled the heights of 
Mount Washington, because the sporules of the fungi, lichens, and 
mosses may be wafted through the air for indefinite distances, like 
smoke. But the cause of the occurrence of arctic plants of the f^A^s- 
nogamous class [those having visible flowers] on the top of the New 
Hampshire mountains, specifically identical with those of remote polar 
regions, is by no means so obvious. They could not, in the present 
condition of the earth, eflfect a passage over the intervening low lands, 
becausTe the extreme heat of summer and cold of winter would be 
fatal to them. We must suppose, therefore, that originally they ex- 
tended their range in the same way as the flowering plants now in- 
habiting arctic and antarctic lands disseminate themselves. The innu- 
merable islands in the polar seas are tenanted by the same species of 
plants, some of which are conveyed as seeds, by animals, over the ice, 
when the sea is frozen in winter, or by birds ; while a still larger 
number are transported by floating icebergs, on which soil containing 
the seeds of plants, may be carried, in a single year, for hundreds of 
miles. A great body of geological evidence has now been brought 
together to show that this machinery for scattering plants, as well as 
for carrying erratic blocks southward, and polishing and grooving the 
floor of the ancient ocean, extended in the western hemisphere to 
lower latitudes than the White Mountains. When these last still 
constituted islands, in a sea chilled by the melting of floating ice, we 
may assume that they were covered entirely by a flora like that now 

BOTANY. 307 

confined to the uppennost Of treeleas region of tbe moontaiiw. As 
the eontiaent grew by the slow upheayal €i the land, and the islands 
gained io height, and the climate around their base grew milder, the 
arctic plants would retreat to higher and higher aones, and finally oo> 
cupy an elevated area, which probably had been at first, or in the 
glacial period, always covered with perpetual snow. Meanwhile the 
newly-fi)rffled plains around the base of the mountain, to which north- 
em iq»ecies of plants oenld not spread, would be oocupied by others 
migrating from the south, and perhaps by many trees, shrubs, and 
plant then first created, and remaining to this day peculiar to North 
Aio0gic9L.'' "^ LyelTs Second VUUtoihe United Suues. 


We find, in the Patent- Cfffice Report for 1848 (published about July, 
1840) , a translation of the results ojf some observations made by a 
German botanist on the growth of certain plants. His experi- 
ments were made with brioijiy, pharcala, elder, and fiax. *' The 
growth of these plants advanced uninterruptedly by day and night ; 
but, with the exception of the flax, the growth was more by day than 
by night. Further, the observations made on the briony the fiist day 
showed, that, ^th the increase of the heat of the sun, the growth of 
the outward portions of the plants fell off, and also in disturbed and 
rainy weather. Flax grows on an average more in the night than in 
the day, and more in troubled weather than in sunshine, — a proof 
that it requires for its success a moist atmosphere." 

The same report also contains the results of the observations of 
another botanist, on the coloring of flowers. The coloring of flowers 
is intimately connected with the alternations of the seasons. " In con- 
sidering the vegetables of our country (Germany), either in a mass 
or in groups, we see invariably that the number of flowers increases 
from December to July. White flowers are the most numerous 
during the whole period of the year when plants are seen in blos- 
som ; afler these come the yellow, then the orange, the blue, the 
violet, the green, and, lastly, the indigo flowers, which are the most 
uncommon. The law according to which the increase of flowering 
takes place shows itself to be closely connected with the mean tem- 
perature ; but from time to time anomalies are exhibited, which the 
change of temperature alone cannot explain ; such is the rapid de- 
crease of the number of flowering plants from the end of July to 
that of August. From the month of January, when all the flowers 
are white, to the vernal equinox, the relative number of white flowers 
rapidly decreases ; after that period the pTO]>ortion of them increases 
till the middle of May, and then insensibly diminishes till the time 
when the frosts arrest all vegetation. If we set aside the very small 
number of yellow flowers which appear in February and March, we 
see that the proportion of flowers of that color increases from the be- 
ginning of April to the end of June, then it remains stationary till 
the middle of August, afler which it increases again till the frosts 
come. The proportional number of red flowers gradually diminishes 
from February to the end of April, then recovers the asoeadiDg scale 


till the end of Angnst, after which it decreases till October ; it then 
rises again till November, when most of the cultivated flowers are of 
that color. The green or greenish flov/ers diminish in number from 
March till the end of May, and after this the proportion is about 
uniformly maintained till winter. Blue flowers increase to the middle 
of April, then decrease to the summer solstice, then ascend to the 
number reached in April, after which they rapidly decrease, and 
totally cease on the arrival of the frosts." The other colors are not 
regular enough to allow of the giving of a rule for them. 

The author of these observations has arranged the increase and 
decrease of the colors ita tables, to show them at a glance. It is then 
seen that each color rises twice and decreases twice. Whenever the 
white flowers increase, the yellow decrease, and vice vers&. The red 
and green always correspond, as do the blue and violet flowers. 
These laws apply to species, not to individuals. 

The same botanist, M. Fritsch, has had the curiosity to examine 
the corolla qf flowers. The number of plants opening their corolla 
during the night is very small, compared with that of those blossom- 
ing during the day, being only about 12 per cent. 


Professor Balfour, at the meeting of the Botanical Society of Edin- 
burgh, on January 11th, 1849, gave an account of ** Piassaba, a fibrous 
matter from South America, used for the manufacture of ropes, &c." 
He stated that the piassaba fibre belongs to the palm tribe, coming from 
the Cocos de Pia9abe of Prince Maximilian. This tree attains a height 
of 20 or 30 feet, and has pinnated fronds 15 or 20 feet long. The fibres 
of the leafstalks, after maceration, are used for making very tenacious 
cables, which resist well the action of salt water. The black fibrous 
matter, resemUing whalebone, which is connected with the leaves, has 
been employed for forming brushes. The fruit of this palm is imported 
into this country, under the name of Coquilla nuts. The shell or cover- 
ing of the nuts is used for making many small articles, such as handles 
for umbrellas, drawers, &c. When examined under the microscope, it 
exhibit thickened cells, very much resembling those seen in bone. 


Professor Daubent has read before the British Association a report 
** On the Action of Carbonic Acid on Plants allied to the Fossil Remains 
found in the Coal Formationw" The apparatus used in the experiments 
made by Prof. D. was so constructed, that a constant supply of 
carbonic acid could be kept up, so that plants or animals exposed in 
it were constantly subjected to the same quantities. The results 
of the experiments were, first, that quantities of carbonic acid 
not exceeding 5 per cent did not appear to affect injuriously species 
of ferns or pelargonium ; second, a quantity amounting to 20 per cent, 
injured plants exposed to it ; third, the quantity of oxygen given out 
by plants was not found to be increased by the quantity of carbonic 
acid to which they were exposed ; fourth, on exposing animals to the 
action of carbonic acid, it was found that £rog8 and many fish could 

BOTANT; 390 

live in an atmosphere charged with 5 per cent, of carhonic acid. 
From these experiments, he concluded that no objection could be 
offered to the theory of a large proportion of carbonic acid having ex- 
isted in the atmosphere in the early periods of the world's history. — 
AthentBum, Sept, 


A VEGETABLE, Called the Oxcdis crenata, has been known to the 
scientific agriculturist of Europe for some years. It is a tuber, the 
culture of which, however, upon a large scale has been little prac- 
tised. It is stated by the Baron Suarce (who has cultivated 
about two acres and a half of it on his own estate in the South 
of France), to possess a larger degree of nutriment than most of the 
'farinaceous plants that form the basis of human food in our climate. 
The total weight of the crop produced on two acres and a half, culti- 
vated by him, was ten tons, from which three tons of flour were ob- 
tained. From the stems of the plant, which may be cuttwice a year, 
and can be eaten as a salad or spinage, ninety gallons of a strong 
acid were obtained ; which, when mixed with tliree times its bulk of 
water, is well adapted for drink. The acid, if fermented and brought 
to an equal degree of acidity with vinegar, is superior to the latter 
when used for curing or preserving meat, as it does not render it hard, 
nor communicate to it a bad flavor. The flour obtained from the 
Oxcdis crenata is superior to that obtained from the potato, maize, or 
buckwheat, as it makes an excellent light bread when mixed in the 
proportion of one fourth with wheat-flour. This is not the case with 
the potato, maize, or buckwheat flour. The Oxcdis crenata came 
originally from South America, and is a hardy plant, unaffected by 
change of temperature. It grows readily in silmost any soil, and 
when once introduced it is difficult to eradicate it. — Atherusum. 


M. Stier, a member of the French embassy in China, a year or 
two since, procured some seeds of the Chinese hemp, which he trans- 
mitted to M. Gamier Savatier, who has succeeded in cultivating and 
naturalizing it in the vicinity of Marseilles, and has thus enriched 
France with a very important new production. This hemp grows to 
a height of twenty-four or twenty-five feet ; the stalk is from five to 
six inches in circumference, and each plant produces from two to three 
kilograms of seed, and furnishes threaid enough to make a yard of su- 
perb lawn, superior in beauty and quality to any obtained from French 
materials. The cultivation of the plant in the South of France will 
be the more advantageous to the country, as a climate of the tempera- 
ture of that region is necessary for bringing the seeds to maturity, 
and these will find a ready market in those countries where the seeds 
will not ripen, but where the filaments may be produced. Some speci- 
mens of this plant have been exhibited at a recent agricultural show at 
Montpellier. Would it not be well for some of our Kentucky hemp- 
grow^ers to endeavour to introduce this new hemp into this country, as 
it would probably thrive at the South ? 



M. Dt Candolli sets, in an artielQ in the BibUoMque VmverseUe 
de Oenive, that " both history and botany agree in rendering it prol^ 
able that wheat, barley, rye, and oats came originally from Asia, es- 
pecially firom Uie western and central regions of that part of the 
world. ' He then cites the lai^ number of botanists and trayellers 
who have written upon this spbject, but none of them hsYC hitherto 
Innought forward any thing entirely conduaiTo. ^* But M. C. Koch, 
a trayeller who has traversed Anatolia, Armenia, the Caucasus, and 
Crimea, now affirms that he has found rye under circumstances where 
it appears to be really spontaneous and native. On the mountains of 
Pont, not fiir from the village of Dshmil, in the country of Hemschin, 
upon granite, at an elevation of 5,000 or 6,000 feet, he found our com- 
mon rye alongside the road. It was thin in the ear, and about 1 to 2i 
inches long. No one remembered that il had ever been cultivated in 
the neighbourhood, and it was not even known as a cereal. The 
question appears thus to be decided in the way that history and botan- 
ical geography rendered most likely." 


This substance, which is rapidly coming into use, is, as all know, 
the ffum or sap of a tree found in the Indian Archipelago. It has re- 
cently been found to be composed of three distinct substances, a white 
matter, which is considered the pure gutta-percha, a substance of a 
dark brown color, and a considerable quantity of sulphur. Various 
experiments have been made to ascertain its strength when mixed 
with other matters, and also to determine what pigments will mix with 
it, without rendering it brittle, or deteriorating its Qualities. From 
these it appears that the only pigmente to be entirely relied on are 
orange red, rose pink, red lead, vermilion, Duteh pink, yellow ochre, 
and orange chrome. Under the influence of heat and pressure, gutta- 
percha will spread to a certain extent, which is greater when it is mixed 
with foreign matters. All the mixtures of gutta-percha and other 
substances, except that containing plumbago, are found to increase its 
power of oonductinff heat, but in its pure state it is an excellent non- 
conductor of electricity. The best composition for increasing the 
pliability of gutta-percha is that formed with caoutchouc tar, and the 
next best is that with its own tar. The best material knovm for 
moulding and embodying is obtained by mingling gutta-percha with 
its own tar and lampblack. In the process of manufacture, the rude 
blocks of gutta-percha are first cut into Slices, by meaUs of a machine 
formed of a circular iron plate of five feet diameter, in which there are 
three radial slots, furnished with as many knives. The slices are 
then placed in a wooden tank containing hot water, in which they are 
left to soak till they become plastic. They are next passed through a 
mincing-cylinder, umilar to that used in paper-mills for the conversion 
of rags into pulp, and then they are thoroughly cleansed in cold water 
tanks, the water, where the gutta-perdia is impure, being mixed with 

BOTANY. 301 

a solution of common soda, or chloride of lime. It is next put into a 
masticating machine, such as is used in the manufacture of caout- 
chouc, and is then pressed through rollers, which convert it into sheets 
of various widths and thicknesses. These sheets are subsequently cut 
into boards, by vertical knives placed at the farther end of a table, 
along which the sheets are carried, by a cloth or web, to another roll- 
er, round which they pass, and are thus cut into the required sizes. 
All kinds of ornamental wainscoating and mouldings are now made of 
gutta-percha, in addition to the other innumerable uses to which it is • 
daily applied. 


The following remarks on the flora of California are from the pen of 
W. R. Prince, the distinguished florist and botanist of Flushing, L. I. 

'^ There are hundreds of species of trees, shrubs, herbaceous and 
bulbous flowering plants indigenous to California, which are totally 
distinct from those found in other parts of the globe, and many of 
them are entirely new to the botanic world. The most important of 
these are two new species of pines, and another of cedar, which at- 
tain each a diameter of eight to twelve feet, and which comprise dense 
forests of the finest timber in the world, between the extreme spurs 
and central range of the Sierra Nevada, and whose existence there in 
such masses is almost unknown, even to those settled in California. 

'' A railroad connecting these immense forests with the San Joa- 
quin, or some navigable branch, would speedily render the aid of 
Oregon, as regards the supplies of timber, entirely nugatory. Of 
the oak (quercus), there are five species, three of which are timber- 
trees, and two shrubby and unavailable. The arbor vitse, growing in 
the pine forest referred to, and forming a most regular and beautiful 
cone, is a distinct species, greatly assimilating to the Thaya sibiriki in 
foliage, and attaining to a height of eighty to one hundred feet. In 
other localities there were found two species of ash, on e of alder, a 
myraca twenty feet high and two feet in diameter, a phot^nia of great 
beauty, fifteen feet high and two feet in diameter, several species of 
rhamnus, a species of crab-apple from which the Indians make cider, 
a species of the cercis or Judas-tree, a clematis, honeysuckle, sym- 
posia, and cephalanthus, with some species of grapes, two fine species 
of raspberries, two species of blackberries, several species of currants, 
a gooseberry, two varieties of the strawberry of a new and peculiar 
species, with a large and excellent fruit ; a calycanthus attaining ten 
to twelve feet in height, with very large flowers, which continue their 
bloom through several months ; a dwarf horsechestnut or buckeye, of 
fifteen feet in height, and spreading to an equal diameter, producing a 
profusion of beautiful flowers ; and many other productions of equal 
interest, which time will not allow me to enumerate. 

** In bulbous flowers this country is particularly rich, and many of 
them are of great beauty and interest, and particularly striking ; the 
balsamic character of very many of the herbaceous plants forms a pe- 
culiar feature in that class. The chanchalagua, so celebrated for its 



medicinal qualities, and of which bunches in a dry state are preserved 
in so many Indian huts, is found in considerable patches in the moist 
ravines through which streams occasionally flow from the mountain 
ranges. I have succeeded in collecting and preserving the seeds and 
bulbs of above one hundred species of plants and trees, which I shall 
transmit to the United States." 


M. d^Hericourt, who has recently returned from a long residence 
in Abyssinia, has brought home, among other valuable articles, nu- 
merous specimens of a plant, the root of which is a cure for hydro- 
phobia, both in men and animals. When presenting specimens of 
this plant to the French Academy, on November 12th, M. d'Heri- 
court says : — ** In preparing this medicine, the bark of the root is 
slightly scraped, after which the root itself is dried and reduced to a 
powder. 10 or 13 grains are given to the patient in a spoonful of 
honey or milk. An hour or two after having taken this dose, and af- 
ter he has had several discharges and vomitings, many cups of whey 
are given him, and when he is much weakened by the discharges, he 
is made to eat the gizzard of a fowl roasted in butter, and well spiced, 
which stops the effect of the medicine. The patient also eats the 
chicken, cooked in the same way, with a great deal of spice. It is 
probable that French physicians will do away with this portion of the 
treatment. This root, whose * emetic cathartic ' effects I have seen, 
acts also on the urine, in which I have found microscopic worms. A 
soldier and three dogs that had been bitten were treated by this root 
in my presence, and were cured, while a fourth dog, bitten at the same 
time, but not so treated, died. 

'' I have brought from Abyssinia the plant whose roots produce the 
remarkable effects mentioned ; it grows in low and warm regions, in 
an ' argillaceous silicious ' soil ; its tap-root attains the length of more 
than a metre, with a diameter of two or three centimetres ; its active 
property appears to reside under the epidermis. The head of the root 
is relatively very large, and produces numerous creeping stems, some 
of which are more than two metres long ; the stem is square, slender, 
about three millimetres in diameter, and has a sort of prickly hair on 
it. The leaves, resembling those of the tribe cucurbitacetB, have five 
principal divisions, and are alternate, being placed opposite to tendrils, 
and three or four centimetres apart. The flowers are placed at the 
extremity of the ovary, and there are several of them upon the same 
stem. The fruit is oblong, smooth, of a greenish-yellow color, and 
when ripe is from three to four centimetres long." 


Dr. Ch. Robin, having submitted to the Paris Academy of Sci- 
ences a paper " On the existence of an ovum or ovule, as well in the 
male as in the female of plants and animals ; producing in the one 
case pollen-grains, in the other the primitive cells of the embryo," a 

BOTANir. 303 

committee, consisting of Senes, Bumas, and Milne-Edwards, was ap- 
pointed to examine the subject of the paper. They have reported that 
'' the facts contained in this memoir prove that, in the male organ of 
plants and of animals, an ovule is formed, analogous to that of the fe- 
males, and constituted in a like manner ; that the vitellus (the bag in- 
terposed between the embryo and the albumen) divides, as does that 
of the female, and by the same mechanism, giving rise to the embry- 
onary cells, which, after being modified by a special evolution, consti- 
tute pollen-grains. Thus, there is an analogy, and often an identi- 
ty, between the product of the male generative organs and that of the 
female. On the other hand, there is an identity in the mode of for- 
mation of the embryonary cells in the ovum of vegetables and of ani- 
mals ; and lastly, Uie mechanism by which the embryonary cells of 
the male ovule are formed is the same as that which forms the prima- 
ry cells of the female ovum. Thus the phenomena of the division of 
the vitellus, described among the vertebrata by Dumas, may be ex- 
tended to vegetables in an equal degree." 


Dr. Junius Smith has lately commenced the culture of the tea- 
plant in the United States, with a view of deciding whether it can be 
advantageously cultivated in this country. Others have often tried the 
experiment, by planting the seeds, but Dr. Smith has procured from 
China a large number of plants of seven years' growth, which, at the 
last accounts, were in full blossom. He selected Greenville, in South 
Carolina, as the place where he would try the experiment, and in the 
latter part of December, 1848, he set out his plants, five hundred in 
number, all but five of which were perfectly healthy and vigorous. 
In a pamphlet on this subject, published by Dr. Smith, he states that 
in China the tea-plant grows most luxuriantly between the parallels of 
20O and 45° north latitude. In the United States, he thinks that we 
may assume the latitude of 40^ as the northern, and the Gulf of 
Mexico as the southern limits of the tea-growing districts. This 
would include Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Virginia, parts of 
Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Missouri, and all the States south of 
these. The northern portion of Newcastle county, in Delaware, is 
in the same parallel as Pekin, one of the finest tea-growing districts 
in China. The annual consumption of tea in this country is about 
11,000,000 pounds, and, upon the supposition that the average product 
of an acre of land is 547 pounds, it will require the cultivation of 
20,109 acres to supply the present consumption, without allowing for 
the large annual increase. It is well known that the tea-plant has 
been introduced into Brazil with considerable success. Should Dr. 
Smith succeed in his laudable enterprise, we may hope in a few years 
to have tea of a flavor never before tasted in this country. It is a no- 
torious fact, that all tea loses by being kept, and the finest kinds will 
not at all bear to be transported across the ocean. The reason why 
the tea used in Russia is so far superior to that of any other country, 
except China, is, that it is transported over land by means of large 



A FOREIGN correspondent of the London Athenaeum, of August 4, 
furnishes the following information concerning the mode of coloring 
green teas as practised ^Tj^e Chinese in the celebrated tea-growing 
district of Wheychou. The writer, accompanied by an excellent in- 
terpreter, was ravored with an opportunity of witnessing the whole 
process, the details of which were noted down with great care. 

The superintendent of the tea-makers managed the coloring part 
of the business himself. In the first place, he procured a portion of 
indigo, which he threw into a porcelam bowl not unlike a chemist's 
mortar, and crushed it to a fine powder. He then burned a quantity 
of gypsum in the charcoal fires which were roasting the tea. The 
object of this was to soflen the gypsum, in order that it might easily 
be pounded into a fine powder, in the same manner as the indigo had 
been. When taken from the fire it readily crumbled down, and was 
reduced to a powder in the mortar. These two substances, having 
been thus prepared, were mixed up in the proportion of four parts of 
gypsum to three of indigo, and together formed a light blue powder, 
which in this state was resuly for use. This coloring matter was ap- 
plied to the tea during the last process of roasting. The Chinese 
manufacturer having no watch to guide him uses a joss stick to regu- 
late his movements in regard to time. He knows exactly how long 
the joss stick burns, and it of course answers the purpose of a watch. 
About five minutes before the tea was taken out of the pans the su- 
perintendent took a small porcelain spoon and lifted out a portion of 
the coloring matter from the basin, and scattered it over the tea in the 
first pan ; he then did the same with the rest, and the workmen 
turned the leaves rapidly round with their hands in order that the 
color might be well diffused. During this operation the hands of the 
men at the pans became quite blue. 

The writer took some trouble to ascertain precisely the quantity of 
coloring matter used in the process of dyeing green teas, and he found 
that to 14^ pounds of tea rather more than an ounce of this indigo 
and gypsum mixture was applied. So that for every hundred pounds 
of green tea, which are consumed in England or America, the consu- 
mer really introduces into his stomach more than half a pound of this 
deleterious dye, which there is little doubt often has Prussian blue 
substituted in it for the indigo. 

In five minutes from the time that the coloring substance was 
thrown into the pans the desired effect was produced. Before the tea 
was removed, however, the superintendent took a tray and placed a 
handful from each pan upon it, and these he examined to see if they 
were uniform in color, and if the examination was satisfactory he 
gave the order to remove the tea from the pans, as the process was 
complete. But sometimes it happened that there was a slight differ- 
ence in the color of the samples, and in this case it was necessary to 
add more dye, and therefore to keep the tea a little longer in the 

On being asked their reasons for thus dyeing their teas, the China- 

fiOTANT. 305 

men quietly answered, that foreigners always paid a higher price for 
such teas, and that the manufacturer had no objection to supplying 
them with it. 


The manufacture of a factitious coffee from the roasted root of 
chiccory appears to have originated in Holland, where it has been 
practised for more than a century. It remained a secret until 1801, 
when it was introduced into France. The manufacture of chiccory- 
coffee in this latter country was for a long time of but little impor- 
tance, but within a comparatively few years it has extended considera- 
bly and become an object of commerce of great value ; in fact, 
12,000,0001bs. are consumed in France, and a large quantity is also 
yearly exported. Numerous manufactories have also been started in 
England, which receive their supplies of dry chiccory from the Conti- 
nent, and to some extent from Ireland. 

The chiccory-plant requires a deep soil of good quality, and well 
prepared ; the seed is sown in May, and the harvest takes place in 
October. Some time before collecting the roots, the leaves are 
mowed, and cows fed with them. They form a most excellent fodder, 
but when given alone communicate a very disagreeable flavor to the 
milk of the animals. The roots are dug with a spade, placed in 
heaps, and covered with straw to preserve them from the frost until 
ready for use. They are afterwards thoroughly dried by a furnace, 
and cut into strips, in which state they are sold to the manufacturers, 
who roast them according to the demand. When the roasting, which 
takes place in large cylinders, is nearly complete, two per cent, of 
butter is added, in order to impart a lustre to the chiccory. The sub- 
stance is then ground in a mill, sifted, and a small quantity of reddish 
coloring material is added to give it the appearance of coffee. The 
product is then weighed off, and sold in packets under a variety of 
names, but rarely under its own ; for instance, among others, Mocha 
powder, ladies' coffee, Chinese coffee, pectoral coffee, colonial coffee, 
&.C. In Holland this chiccory is mixed with coffee in variable pro- 
portions ; the resulting product is very bitter, and is considered by 
the common people to be a very salutary refreshment, which modifies 
the stimulant action of the coffee. Such a favorable idea has been 
formed of it, that of late the chiccory has been employed alone, with- 
out any addition of coffee ; and yet it possesses no other virtue than 
that of coloring the water in which it is boiled or infused, of commu- 
nicating to the liquid the bitter taste of the extractive substances con- 
tained m the chiccory, and of being far less expensive than coffee. The 
chiccory, notwithstanding, is frequently adulterated with biick-dust, 
roasted bread, acorns, corn, beet-roots, and carrota — Condensed from 
the London Chemical Gazette. 


M. Casasecas has communicated to the Paris Academy the result 
of some important investigations on sugar-cane. One of the facts 



which he has ascertained is, that the sagar is in greater quan- 
tity in the foot than in the rest of the cane ; it diminishes through- 
out the first third of the length ; but, if the mean term of the central 
third, and that of the higher, be taken, there result nearly equail 
quantities of sugar: it follows, that, from the beginning of the central 
third up to the top of the yegetable, the distribution of sugar is al- 
most uniform. The quantity of sugar in the central third is very, 
nearly the mean term of the total contained in the cane ; to determine, 
therefore, the value of a cane, it is enough to analyze the central third 
of its length. If the prescribed rules be observed with some care, 
the planter, who knows how to weigh, dry, and boil the cane, with 
distilled water, or water condensed in the mill steam-engine, may, by 
simple calculations, confined to multiplications and to divisions of 
decimal numbers, always ascertain the mean saccharine richness of 
his cane. 


In the vicinity of Cincinnati the culture of grapes, for the purpose 
of making wine, is carried on to a considerable extent, and, as in 
some other portions of our country, is increasing every year. A hill- 
side with a southern aspect is selected, if possible, and the ground is 
laid off into rows 3 feet by B. The avenues should be 10 feet wide, 
dividing the vineyard into squares of 120 feet. Two cuttings are 
usually planted at each stake, but only one is allowed to grow, and 
the time for planting is the end of March, provided the cuttings have 
been previously buried in the earth for a time, so as to swell the buds. 
The first year afler planting, the vine is usually cut down to a single 
bud, but the third year three or four are left. When the grapes are 
very ripe, the unsound ones are carefully picked off, after which the 
bunches are washed in a tub, or passed through a small mill, breaking 
the skin, but not the seed, and then they are thrown into the press, 
and the screw applied till they are pressed dry. For fermentation 
the juice is put into clean casks in a cool cellar, and the casks filled 
within about four or five inches of the bung, which is put on loosely. 
The gas escapes, but the wine does not run over, and m from two to 
four weeks the fermentation ceases, and the wine clears. In February 
or March the wine is racked off into clear casks, and a moderate fer- 
mentation again occurs, after which the wine fines itself, and is ready 
for bottling or barrelling. The cost of a vineyard of six acres, with 
14,400 vines, is, at the most, $ 1,800. By the third year the vines 
generally produce enough grapes to more than pay the expenses of 
that year, and after that, for eight or ten years, the net profit per an- 
num is $ 1,050, at one dollar per gallon for the wine. To attain this 
the vineyard must be well situated, and free from the rot. It is esti- 
mated that over 300 acres are now planted with the vine within a cir- 
cuit of twelve miles round Cincinnati, nearly two thirds of which 
were in bearing in 1848, producing, notwithstanding the prevalence 
of the rot, from 50,000 to 60,000 gallons of wine. The Catawba is 
the most cultivated, and the Cape next, while the Isabella is raised 
only for table use. A bushel of grapes, if well ripened, will produce 
from three and a half to four gallons of wine. — Patent- Office Report. 




The number of vertebrated animals may be estimated at 20,000. 
About 1,500 species of mammals are pretty precisely known, and the 
number may probably be carried to about 2,000. 

The number of birds well known is 4,000 or 5,000 species, and the 
probable number is 6,000. 

The reptiles number about the same as the mammals, — 1,500 
described species, — and they will probably reach the number of 

The fishes are more numerous ; there are from 5,000 to 6,000 spe- 
cies in the museums of Europe, and the number may probably amount 
to 8,000 or 10,000. 

The number of mollusks already in collections probably reaches 
8,000 or 10,000. There are collections of marine shells, bivalve and 
univalve, which amount to 5,000 or 7,000 ; and collections of land 
and fluviatile shells; which count as many as 2,000. The total num- 
ber of mollusks would, therefore, probably exceed 15,000 species. 

Among the articulated animals it is difficult to estimate the num- 
ber of species. There are collections of coleopterous insects which 
number 20,000 to 25,000 species ; and it is quite probable, that, by 
uniting the principal collections of insects, 60,000 or 80,000 species 
might now be counted ; for the whole department of Articulata, com- 
prising the Crustacea, the Cirrhipeda, the insects, the red-blooded 
worms, the intestinal worms, and the Infusoria, as far as they belong 
to this department, the number would already amount to 100,000 ; 
and we might safely compute the probable number of species actually 
existing at double that sum. 

Add to these about 10,000 for Radiata, Echini, star-fishes. Medusae, 
and Polypi, and we have about 250,000 species of living animals ; 
and supposing the number of fossil species to equal them, we have, 
at a very moderate computation, half a million of species. — Prind- 
pks of Zoology, by Agassiz and Gould , Part I. 



Wb derive the following: from a paper read before the British As- 
BociatioD by Dr. J. H. Pring*, entitled ** Observations and Experi- 
ments on the Noctiluca miliaris, the Animalcular Source of the Phos- 
phorescence of the British Seas." 

After glancing at the theories which have been proposed to explain 
the phosphorescence of the ocean, and mentioning some remarkable 
exhibitions of this phenomenon, Dr. P. remarks, that there now '' ap- 
peals little doubt that the power of phosphorescence is actually pos- 
sessed by animals ranking as high as the class of fishes." The 
general phosphorescence of the ocean is chiefly due to the numerous 
kinds of Medu8«e, Polypifene, Rotiferae, and Infusoria, included un- 
der the class Acalephae, but it is particularly owing to the microscopic 
Noctiluca miliaris. Having taken a bucket of water from the sea, 
Dr. Pring kept it over night, and on the following morning ** innu- 
merable very minute gelatinous bodies, of a globular form, could be 
perceived even with the naked eye, floating near the surface' of the 
water." From repeated observations, it is clear that these little ani- 
mals are either naturally specifically lighter than sea-water, or pos- 
sess the power of rendering themselves so ; this property appears 
to be a living attribute, since it ceases at death. When examined 
by the microscope nothing is seen that indicates any special lu- 
minous organ, but in several specimens a mass of loose flocculent 
muciis was observed adhering near the insertion of the tentaculum, 
^* so that I am disposed to believe that the phosphorescent principle 
Tesides in this mucus, and is probably most vivid at the moment of its 
secretion, the secretion itself being influenced and thrown out more 
abundantly under circumstances indicating danger." The natural 
size of the animal is stated not to exceed the thousandth of an inch 
in diameter. 

Dr. Pring performed some interesting experiments on this animal, 
but we can only detail a few of them. Subjected to a simple galvanic 
current from two of Smee's batteries, no very perceptible effect could 
be observed. By passing the electro-magnetic current through the 
water, after a considerable time a steady and continued glow of light 
was given out from the whole of the water, the surface of which ap- 
peared as if spangled with numberless minute but persistent points of 
light. The light ceased after a quarter of an hour, and could not be 
reproduced, owing evidently to the death of the animalcules. 

When a portion of the luminous sea-water was placed in a bottle 
filled with oxygen gas, the phosphorescence of the animals was in- 
creased whenever the water was agitated with the oxygen. The 
animals lived in this state for more than a week. With nitrogen the 
effect was similar, but the brilliancy of the light was somewhat less. 
Sulphuretted hydrogen gas instantly destroyed all the luminosity, 
being at once fatal to the animals. With carbonic acid gas the lu- 
minous property of the water was not only brought out and highly 
increased, but was rendered permanent for at least fifteen minutes, 
the light being bright enough to enable one to see the hands of a 

zooLoor. 309 

watch in a dark room. At the expiration of about fifteen minutes 
the light became gradually fainter, and in five or ten minutes more 
had totally ceased. 

When sulphuric acid was dropped upon the water, it emitted for a 
minute or two a bright light, and then disappeared. Nitric acid had 
the same efiect, and with hydrochloric acid the increased luminosity 
was much less conspicuous, and the darkness ensued almost instan- 
taneously. A few drops of ether let fall into the sea-water in the 
dark appeared instantly to deprive it of its luminous property. On 
substituting chloroform for ether, in a second experiment, a very 
bright and persistent phosphorescence was given out for a few min- 
utes, after which the water speedily became dark, the animalcules 
being evidently destroyed. 


Among the papers presented to the American Association for the 
Promotion of Science, in relation to the ichthyology of this country, 
we would mention a Monograph of the Fresh-water Cottas of North 
America, by Charles Girard,£8q., Cambridge, Mass. The investi- 
gations into which the author has been led have shown that the 
C ffobio is not an inhabitant of our country, as has hitherto been 
supposed, and that several other new species of cottas exist in difier- 
ent hydrographic basins. 


The Boston Journal of Natural History, Vol. VI. No. I., contains 
a description of a new genus of fishes, established by Mr. W. O. 
Ayres, of Boston, Mass. The specimen from which the description 
is drawn was picked^ up at sea, in N. Lat. 42^, and W. Long. 50^, 
in the month of June, 1848. It was alive when taken, and was 
floating in a vertical position, with a snout a little above the surface 
of the water. It differs so widely from every established genus, that 
even its place in the system becomes a matter of question. *' It is 
therefore necessary," says Mr. Ayres, **to form for its reception a 
new genus, for which I propose the name Malacosteus, and which 
may be thus characterized : — 

" Mouth extremely deep cleft : border of the upper Jaw formed principally by the maxil- 
lary, the intermaxillary being short. Teeth in the upper jaw small, separate, and sharp- 
pointed, on both maxillary and intermaxillary. Teeth in the lower jaw very long, sepa- 
rate, somewhat hooked, followed by others much smaller and closer together. No teeth on 
the palatines, vormer, or branchial arches. A double row on the tongue. A single dorsal 
fin near the tail, opposite the anal. Whole fish entirely destitute of scales. All of the 
bones remarkably soft. Opercular pieces consistini^ of a membrane without ossification. 
Branchial rays not discernible. The species, from its color, may receive the name Mala- 
costetis niger." 

For a detailed description we would refer the reader to the authori- 
ty above referred to, pages 53-64. 

The length of the fish is eig^ht and one half inches, with a body 
nearly cylindrical. One of its most striking peculiarities is, that the 
entire osseous system is in a very low state of development. All of 


the bones are quite soft, and from this fact its generic name is de- 
riyed. •Through the vertebne even a needle can be passed without 
difficulty, the resistance being about the same as in piercing cartilage, 
while many of the bones are entirely wanting, and their places mere- 
ly indicated. Of the habits of this fish we know nothing. It belongs 
to deep water, and is of slow motion. To no family does it appear to 
approach so nearly as to the Salmonide. 


Prof. Aoassiz gave an account of two new fishes obtained by him 
at Lake Superior, which he regarded as types of two new genera. 
The first is an entirely new type in the class of fishes. It is a small 
fish, five or six inches long, which, in some respects, resembles several 
families, but is most like the Percoids, though distinct from them 
Fossil species with similar characters are found in the cretaceous 
formations. This is the second. Prof. A. remarked, of the '* old- 
fashioned " fishes, so to speak, corresponding in their structure to a 
fossil species, which has been observed in this country. The other 
fish is the only living representative of a large family of fossil species. 
The existence of these two species has undoubtedly reference to the 
fact, that America is the oldest extensive continent which has been 
upheaved above the level of the sea. In New Holland, two genera 
exist bearing similar relations to older families, a fish and a shell, 
which have their analogues among the oolitic deposits. — Proc, Bos- 
ion Nat, HisU Society. 



On the 26th of March, a fine specimen of the Gymnetrus or ribbon- 
fish was captured off the coast of Northumberland, England, by the 
crew of a fishing-boat. The animal was seen floating on the water, 
nearly dead ; and when opened it was found to have swallowed a 
piece of zinc, which had evidently been the cause of its weak condi- 
tion. These fish apparently live on the ground in the deep sea; and 
the smallness of their mouths, which does not permit their taking 
ordinary bait, will account for their being so seldom seen. 

It is described, by those who saw it a few hours after its capture, as 
being of a uniform silvery-gray color, with a few black spots to- 
wards the anterior part of the body. It presents somewhat the form 
of a double-edged sword-blade, being excessively compressed ; the 
length is 12 feet 3 inches, the mouth not being projected forward, 
and directly behind the gills it is 8^ inches deep; 2 feet farther back 
it attains its greatest depth of 11^ inches. The thickness through 
the head is 2 inches. When first taken it was of a brilliant irides- 
cent hue, but this soon faded away. No scales are visible to the 
naked eye, but they are easily detected with a microscope. Four 
flattened ridges, each more than an inch broad, extend from the 
head to the tail. The head is small and short, measuring only 9 


inches, and the month is also small and of a circular form. The eye 
is about Ih inch in diameter, and the iris is of a beautiful silvery 
white. The tongue is prominent, but small, smooth, and fixed, and 
there are no teeth. 

Only seven or eight species of the Gymnetrus have been recorded, 
and this specimen is believed to belong to one described by Cuvier, 
from a specimen which was thrown upon the English coast, and ex- 
amined by Sir Joseph Banks. It is believed that, though this fish is 
very rare, specimens of it have been from time to time captured and 
exhibited, but till now it has never been brought to notice and scien- 
tifically described. — Condensed from the Magazine of Natural His- 
tory, Jvly. 


Prof. Aoassiz, while on an expedition in one of the vessels of the 
Coast Survey during the past summer, obtained by means of a dredge, 
from a depth of seventy-two feet, in the Vineyard Sound oflf Gay 
Head, several specimens of a coral with its animals. By great care 
and attention, they were preserved alive in glass jars for more than 
six weeks, and afforded an excellent opportunity for an examination 
and observation of their structure and habits. These corals belong 
to the genus Astrangia, and have been named by Prof. Agassiz, in 
honor of Prof. Dana, geologist of the Exploring Expedition, Astran- 
g a Dana, 

This species presents two varieties. Some are of a pink or rose 
color, others are white. The general form of the animal is a cylinder 
(as of all the Polypi), resting on its base, and expanded on the upper 
margin. Thus expanded, it is about two lines in diameter. The 
number of tentacles is definite, but it is not always the same absolute 
number. It never exceeds twenty-four ; in earlier periods of life 
there are only twelve, and there is even an epoch when there are 
only six. 

It is perhaps a matter of surprise that the coral animal should have 
been found in this latitude. They teem in the warm latitudes ; but 
there are very few species in the more temperate regions, and but for 
the opportunity afiforded by the Coast Survey, the existence of these 
animals could not have been suspected on these shores. For many 
years, however, dead fragments had been found along the shores ; 
but whether they lived there naturally or not, had not been ascer- 


The following description of the coral animals found on the coast 
of Massachusetts by Prof. Agassiz was presented by him at the 
meeting of the American Scientific Association : — " We have, below 
the mouth, a small cavity, which is shut by the contraction of the 
walls, and which, immediately below, expands into a wider cavity. 


The upper cayity is the stomach. In the centre of it is a large open- 
ing, which communicates with the cavity below ; so that the stomach, 
by the relaxation' of its walls, that is, of its muscular fibres, throws 
down its own contents into the general cavity of the body. But dur- 
ing the process of digestion, when food has been introduced into this 
cavity, the mouth is shut, and the stomach is equally shut below. 
During the whole time that digestion goes on, the stomach remains 
as a closed bag ; but, as soon as the food has been fully digested, then 
the lower cavity opens to empty its contents into the general cavity ; 
but sometimes the upper opening expands first, and the refuse of 
hard particles is thrown away. The lower opening of the stomach 
is shut again as soon as the homogeneous mass of the digested food 
has entered into the wide cavity below, precisely as in Actinia. 

'*The hard parts of the Polypi are formed by means of cells, within 
the thickneiss of the walls of the animal itself. They are neither an 
external secretion, nor an internal skeleton, but constitute a calcare- 
ous deposit within the soft parts of the animal. It is by the accu- 
mulation of microscopic granules of limestone that a regular wall of 
stone is produced, within the thickness of the membranes, at their 
lowest portions. The tentacles of these animals are hollow, having 
vibrating cilia on their inner surfaces, by which very minute particles 
of food are brought to their mouth. Besides these cilia on the ex- 
ternal surface, there are other organs which have been known to 
exist in other animals, but which have never before been observed in 
corals, called nettling organs. It is very well known that the jelly- 
fishes, if handled, leave a painful sensation like that of the burning 
of nettles. It has been ascertained that this nettling arises from the 
action of a peculiar apparatus, about the form of slender thread issu- 
ing from a bulb. Now, in this coral animal, the whole surface of the 
tentacle is provided with such nettling apparatus, forming heaps, ar- 
ranged all over the surface like warts, nearly in rows. There are 
hundreds of these warts upon one of these tentacles, and if we ex- 
amine their structure, we shall find that every one of them consists 
of nettling cells. The whole structure of these cells can scarcely be 
seen by the best microscopes now at our disposal. Even some of the 
microscopes, considered among the best, do not reach the limits which 
are required for such investigations. These heaps of wart-like bodies 
are accumulations of peculiar cells, and there is in each of them a 
thread coiled up in a spiral form. In some of these there is a sort 
of arrow, with the thread coiled up around the arrow. In others we 
have a conical-shaped cell, and here also a thread coiled up. Upon 
watching these cells, which, from their contents, I could have no 
doubt were the nettling cells, I have been fortunate enough to see 
the manner in which these threads are issued, like a lasso. I have no 
doubt that it is with this apparatus that they sting, though I cannot 
say what is the action produced upon the tissues of other animals to 
cause the painful sensations they produce, as all this apparatus is too 
minute to be investigated in any other way than through high powers 
of the microscope, with transmitted light, and the chemical operation 
of the fluid to produce such a sensation upon the skin cannot be dis- 


eerned. The quickness with which these animals kill others which 
come in their vicinity, leaves no doubt that these little microscopic 
cells, with these threads, are most powerful weapons, by which they 
attack and kill their prey almost instantly. 

*' How does this thread, which is so long, uncoil and come out from 
the cavity of the cell ? It is as quick as lightning, and therefore the 
more difficult to observe, as the whole thread, which is twelve or six- 
teen times longer than the longitudinal diameter of the original cell, 
is thrown out in almost an instant. It is here that I reach the ex- 
treme limits of the working power of our microscopes. In observing 
the cells, three times in succession, I saw the thread thrust out, at 
first appearing to turn with great rapidity upon itself within, and 
then, after a part had been pressed out, the extremity of the thread 
within came in sight and could be traced as it escaped through the 
whole length of the part already drawn out, until the whole was ex- 
tended and the point actually projected outwards ; so that this fine 
thread is in fact a tube, and is finally turned inside out to the very 
extremity of the thread. Now, conceive what extraordinary struc- 
ture this apparatus must have to allow of such a motion ! Our 
microscopes now do not reach at all the limits which they should 
reach in order to enable us to trace the structure by which such phe- 
nomena are produced. I only describe appearances now; but it is 
evident that an apparatus subservient to such a purpose, and acting- 
with such rapidity, cannot but be highly complicated in its structure, 
although that structure is so minute as to escape an eye, even when 
armed with most powerful magnifying apparatus. 

** Having described the peculiar form of the nettling cells of this 
coral-building animal, let me say what I have further seen about it. 
The festooned head of a tentacle, which is hemispherical, may send 
out from its termination thousands of these lassos at once, so that the 
summit of the tentacle is then like a formidable wall of peaks stand- 
ing out in all directions, and between them all are vibrating cells with 
their myriads of cilia maintaining currents of water, the threads 
standing out from their empty capsules. It is impossible to give a 
description vivid enough to convey the idea of such an apparatus as 
this presents when sent forth against its prey. But it can readily be 
imagined how formidable such a contrivance must be, when these 
animals can reach out so far beyond their apparent surface, and stretch 
forth these unseen organs of apprehension. These animals are, it 
will be perceived, most dangerous enemies to the small living beings 
around them, since the radius of their reach is so far beyond their 
apparent surface, owing to the length of their lassos." 


At a late meeting of the Boston Natural History Society, the 
President, Dr. John C. Warren, introduced a subject of particular in- 
terest to those who have paid some attention to the study of the ani- 
mals which are found on the shores of the United States. 

It has long been known, that a large marine animal occurs about 



the coast of Florida, where it is known under the name of Sea-cow ; 
but naturalists have not been in possession of precise information upon 
the character, form, and relations of this singular creature. That it 
is related to the sea-cow of the large rivers of South America, ap- 
peared evident from the reports circulated about it ; and Dr. Harlan, 
of Philadelphia, had, even many years since, described portions of its 
skull as indicating a distinct species of the genus Manatus. But from 
the deficiency of materials upon which his description rests, so 
much doubt remained in the minds of critical zoologists, as to leave it 
uncertain whether that species is really distinct from the one which 
has been found in the South American rivers, and which was first cor- 
rectly described and figured by Alexander von Humboldt. The frag- 
ments preserved in the museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences 
in Philadelphia, &nd an imperfect skeleton, with isolated vertebrae, be- 
longing to the Medical College of Charleston, S. C, were the only 
relics of that animal which were in the possession of naturalists up to 
this day, when Dr. Warren presented to the Society an almost perfect 
skeleton of this animal, and a well-stufifed skin, leaving no doubt as to 
its natural affinities among the herbivorous Cetacea, and showing 
plainly that the species inhabiting the southern coast* of North 
America is quite distinct from that which occurs in the Amazon. 

The specimen presented to the Society is about the size of a black- 
fish. It is remarkable for the width of the middle region of its body, 
and its broad, rounded tail, which contrasts, in a striking manner, 
with the small head, and the two little paddles on the sides of the 
chest. This rare specimen will not only be a precious addition and 
ornament to the museum of the Society, but will also afford an unex- 
pected opportunity to describe more fully, and characterize and illus- 
trate by figures, an animal which lives so near us, belonging to one of 
the most interesting families of the animal kingdom, and about which 
so little has been known up to the present day. 

Professor Agassiz thinks that the Manati have been improperly con- 
sidered cetaceans ; they differ from them in the form of the skull, 
which is elongated, and in the position of the nostrils, which are 
in front. On the other hand, the skull resembles that of the elephant, 
in front '(particularly when seen from above), in some of the details 
of the facial bones, which are not like those of the Cetacea, in the 
palatine bones, the arrangement of the teeth, and in the curve of the 
lower jaw. Professor Agassiz believed this to be the true embryonic 
type of the Pachydermata. 


Mr. Desor addressed the Society upon the subject of the distribu- 
tion of animal life among the shoals of Nantucket. The shoals ofiT 
Sancati Head, he said, might be regarded as a vast submarine plateau, 
with a depth of water upon it at no place greater than twenty-five 
fathoms. Its surface rises into four principal ridges, which ap- 
proach the surface of the water at dififerent places, to within fifteen, 
ten, six feet, or even one foot. The varying depth of water between 


these ridges gives rise to foar principal horizontal divisions, marked 
by the absence or the distinct characters of animal forms. The first 
division includes the top of these ridges, and extends horizontally to 
various distances, according to the configuration of the shoal. It is 
composed of sand, mostly quartzose, containing very little feldspar, 
with some grains of hornblende very much worn, but no animals. 
This sand, although very fine, is remarkable for its almost stony hard- 
ness. It has been a question to what this should be attributed. Some 
have thought that it may be owing to a cement combining with it, but 
on being dried it is found to lose its compactness. Lieutenant Davis 
thinks that it is produced by the hammering action of the waves. 
From the second division, which is directly below this, the dredge 
brings up nothing but broken shells, exhibiting marks of the powerful 
action of the sea. This division extends to a vertical depth of from 
three to five fathoms. The third division, next below the Second, con- 
tains pebbles and a few barnacles. The fourth division, at the bot- 
tom of the interval between the ridges, abounds in animal forms. 
Every stone is entirely covered with corals or barnacles. It is worth 
remarking, that the species here existing are not peculiar to this place, 
but are found under other conditions nearer the surface of the water. 
Mr. Desor mentioned several species, which on the shoals are found 
at a depth of from ten to twenty-five fathoms, but in other places are 
found in very shallow water. These facts are at variance with the 
opinion of some, that each marine species has its district at a fixed 
depth below the surface. It may be true of some, however, which 
are found in brackish or fresh water. The pressure of the water pre- 
vents the existence of animals at a very great depth, while the beat- 
ing of the waves, on the other hand, limits their range upwards. On 
Nantucket Shoals, this is very powerful, and is supposed by Lieutenant 
Davis to be felt to the depth of perhaps ten fathoms. In sheltered 
harbours, species which on the shoals are compelled to live at the 
bottom of the trenches can find protection at the depth of a few feet. 
The fact, that specimens obtained from the deepest water on the shoals 
are entirely covered with delicate corals, proves the entire quietness of 
the water. — Proceedings of the Boston Natural History Society, 


Within a few years past, evidence of the most satisfactory nature 
has been obtained by naturalists and others, showing that there exists 
upon the banks of the Gaboon River, Africa, a second and gigantic 
native species of man-like ape, superior in strength and size to the 
orang-outang. In 1847, four crania, two males and two females, a 
large portion of a male skeleton, and the pelvis of a female, were 
brought to the United States. These were the first remains of this 
animal which had been noticed by naturalists, and were described by 
Dr. Jeffries Wyman, in a paper read to the Boston Society of Natural 
History. Three other crania were afterwards sent to England, and 
described by Professor Owen. Quite recently, some additional re- 
mains have been brought to this country, by Dr. George A. Perkins, 
late missionary at Cape Palmas, Western Africa. 


This animal, to which the name Eng^-ena has been applied, is hy 
far the largest of all the African Quadrumana. The dimensions of 
the crania, compared with that of the chimpanzee, and a weli-marked 
negro head, will be seen from the following measurements taken by 
Dr. Wyman : — 

Greatest length of the head of the eng^-ena, 11.4 ; of tlie chimpan* 
zee 8.0 ; of the negro, 0.6. 

Greatest breadth across the post-auditory ridges of the enge-ena, 
6 10 ; of the chimpanzee, 5.0 ; of the negro, 5.4. 

Greatest diameter of the face across the zygomatic arches of the 
enff^-ena, 7.0 ; of the chimpanzee, 5.0 ; of the necro, 5.7. 

While the proportions of the humerus and the ufna are more near- 
ly human in the eng^-ena than in the chimpanzee, those of the hu* 
merus and the femur recede much farther from the human proportions 
than they do in the chimpanzee, as will be seen by the following meas- 
urements : — 

Humerus of man, 15.0 ; of chimpanzee, 10.0 ; of enge-ena, 17.0 ; 
femur of man, 18.5; of chimpanzee, 11. Q; of enge-ena, 14.0. 

Thus in man the femur is three inches longer than the humerus ; in 
the chimpanzee, these bones are nearly of the same length ; and in the 
enge-ena the humerus is three inches longer than the femur, — indi- 
cating, on the part of the enge-ena, a less perfect adaptation to loco- 
motion, in the erect position, than in the chimpanzee. 

Professor Owen, of England, from an examination of the bones of 
the enge-ena in his possession, considers that it approached nearer to 
man than the chimpanzee, and is induced to regard itas *' the most 
anthropoid of the known brutes." Dr. Wyman, however, after a 
careful investigation of a greater number of crania, and other portions 
of the skeleton which have not been inspected by Professor Owen, 
has arrived at an opposite conclusion, and thinks that, after placing 
side hy side the different anatomical peculiarities of the two species, 
there is no alternative but to regard the chimpanzee ais holding the 
highest place in the brute creation. 

With the knowledge of the anthropoid animals of Asia and Africa 
which now exist, derived from the critical examinations, by various 
observers, of their osteology, their dentition, and the comparative size 
of their brains, it becomes quite easy to measure, with an approxima- 
tion to accuracy, the hiatus which separates them from the lowest of 
the human race. The existence of four hands, instead of two, the in- 
ability to stand erect, consequent on the structure of a skeleton adapt- 
ed almost exclusively to an arboreal life, the excessive length of the 
arms, the comparatively short and permanently flexed legs, the pro- 
truding face, the position of the occipital condyles in the posterior 
third of the base of the skull, and the consequent preponderance of 
the head forwards, the largely developed canine teeth, the laryngeal 
pouches, the elongated pelvis, the long and straight spinous processes of 
the neck, — these, and many other subordinate characters, are peculiar- 
ities of the anthropoid animals, and constitute a wide gap between 
them ^nd the most degraded of the human races, so wide that the 
greatest difference between the latter and the noblest specimen of a Caa- 


casian is ioconsiderable in comparison. An examination of the ca- 
pacity of the crania of eng6-ena, chimpanzee, and of the different 
varieties of the haman race, shows still more conclusively, that the 
highest animal does not approach very near the lowest man, but is 
separated by an impassable phrenological chasm. Dr. Wyman found 
the cranial capacity of four skulls, three males and one female, of the 
enge-ena to be, for the highest 34.5 cubic inches, the lowest female, 
25 cubic inches; average, 28.05 cubic inches. 

In three specimens of the chimpanzee, all females, he found the 
highest cranial capacity 26 inches, the lowest 22, — average, 24. 
The following is a ta.ble of the results of examinations of human 
skulls, of various races, prepared by Dr. S. G. Morton, of Philadel- 
phia : — 

Races. ^Jill.l^S^^ J!^.T^ ?„"i!!l^!f„^ Mean. Mean. 


Germans, . 

English, .... 6 105 91 96^ 92 

An^lo- Americans, 
Malay Group. 

Malayan family, . . 20 97 63 ^ ? 85 

Polynesian family, ^ °'* "* "^ ' 

Ambkican Group. 
Toltecan family. 

Peruvians, . 

Mexicans, ... 22 92 67 79 ^ 79 

Barbarous Tribes, 
Nboro Group. 

Native African family, 


Australians, . 

These results are derived from a table which Dr. Morton has based 
upon the actual measurements of over 600 skulls. The smallest mean 
capacity is that derived from the Hottentots and Australians, which 
equals only 75 cubic inches, while that of the Teutonic races amounts 
to 92 cubic inches. The maximum capacity of the enge-ena is, there- 
fore, considerably less than one half the mean of the Hottentots and 
Australians, who give us the minimum average for the human races. 

Dr. Savage, a resident on the Gaboon River, describes the enge>ena 
as an animal of great ferocity and strength, and much dreaded by the 
natives. It is seen, however, but rarely. The following note, ac- 
companying two crania brought to the United States, was received 
from Dr. Perkins by Dr. Wyman : — " The two crania were received 
from a person on board a vessel trading in the Gaboon and Dan- 
ger Rivers, Western Africa. They were obtained from natives on the 
banks of the latter, by whom they were preserved as trophies. From 
the gentleman who gave them to me, I learned that the killing of one 
of these animals was by no means a common occurrence. He de- 
scribes the animal as being remarkably ferocious, even attacking the 
natives when found alone in the forest, and in one instance, which fell 
under his observation, horribly mutilating a man who was out in the 
woods felling trees to burn. His shouts brought to his aid several 
other natives, who, after a severe contest, succceeded in killing the 
eng6-ena. The man was afterwards in the habit of exhibiting him- 


No. of skulls 




. 18 








. 20 





. 166 

. 161 












self to foreignem who Tinted the river, and of xeoeiving charity from 

Prof. Owen designates this new species of anthropoid animal, as 
the ** Great Chimpanzifee." The Mipongwes (natives inhabiting the 
banks of the Gaboon) call it the £ng6-ena, a name considered by Dr. 
Wyman as more appropriate, since the term Chimpanzee has always 
been associated with the black or smaller species. -^ Compiled from a 
paper furnished by Dr. Jeffries Wyman, 


CoL. Du CouRET, the distinguished African traveller, who has re- 
cently left Paris to renew his explorations in that country under the 
auspices of the French government, has addressed to the Academy of 
Sciences a paper containing an apparent confirmation of the existence 
of a race in the interior of Africa, the members of which are furnish- 
ed with tails. The report has been much ridiculed, as an attempt to 
impose upon the world, but Col. Du Couret would not choose the 
French Academy as the body to which he would address his memoir, 
if that were his object. 

These people, according to travellers, are originally of the king- 
dom of Gondar. They have a taH-like appendage, formed by the elon- 
gation of the vertebral column, and they are the last link in the ha- 
man race. The slave-merchants cannot dispose of them without 
great difficulty, so bad is their reputation. The traits which distin- 
guish them are hideous ugliness of face and figure, ungoyemable 
tempers, and stolid intellect. Some of this race are to be found also 
in the Philippine Islands, but they were doubtless carried thither by 
the slave-merchants. However this may be, when a Levantine is 
looking out for slaves in the East, he is always warned not to piii^ 
chase one who has a tail ; he is told, *' Of all slaves they are the least 

'* In 1842, 1 lived at Mecca," says M . du Couret, *^ and, being 
often at the house of an Emir with whom I was intimate, I spoke to 
him of the Ghilane race, and told him how much the Europeans doubt- 
ed the existence of men with tails ; that is to say, with the vertebral 
column elongated externally. In order to convince me of the reality 
of the species, the Emir ordered before me one of his slaves, called 
Belial, who was about thirty years old, who had a tail, and who be- 
longed to this tribe. On surveying this man I was thoroughly con- 
vinced. He spoke Arabic well, and appeared rather intelligent. He 
told me that, in his country, far beyond the Sennaar, which he had 
crossed, they spoke a different language ; this, for want of practice, 
he had entirely forgotten ; that of his countrymen, whom he estimat- 
ed at thirty or forty thousand, some worshipped the sun, the moon, 
or stars, others the serpent, and the sources of an immense river, in 
which they immolated their victims (probably the Nile) ; that they 
ate with delight raw flesh, as bloody as possible, and that they loved 
human flesh above all things ; that, after their battles with the neigh- 
bouring tribes, they slaughtered and devoured their prisoners without 


distinction of ag^e or sex, bat that the women and children were pref- 
erable, the flesh being more delicate. This Ghilane had become a 
devout Mussulman, and had lived fifteen years in the Holy City. 
The fondness, the necessity even, for raw flesh (it really was a want 
for him) did not fail to return upon him ; and his master, therefore, 
by a precaution, never failed, when this fit was on him, to provide 
him with an enormous piece of raw mutton, which he consumed rav- 
enously, before every body. This desire for raw flesh showed itself 
periodically ; sometimes twice a week. Being asked why he did not 
try to correct such a habit, he answered with great frankness, ' I 
have often tried to overcome this appetite, which I received from my 
father and mother. In my country, great and small, young and old, 
live in this manner, besides eating fish, fruits, and vegetables. If my 
master neglected to supply this requirement of my nature, I am sure 
I could not resist the desire which possesses me of devouring some- 
thing, and I should cause great sorrow by falling on some person too 
weak to contend with me, — an infont, for example.* Having asked 
him to allow me to see him naked (for' I wished to sketch him), he 
resisted for a long time, but finally yielded, on receiving the promise 
of an entirel}' new dress, which I was to send to him ; he came pri- 
vately to my house, where he took off the scanty shirt of coarse blue 
linen which he wore. I was thus enabled to contemplate him quite 
at my ease, and to paint his portrait, without exposing him to the pun- 
ishment which would have been inflicted on him, if he had been de- 
tected by his fanatical and superstitious master.'' The drawing made 
under these circumstances has been placed under the eyes of the 

Here are some extracts from the description given by M. du Cou- 
ret of the Ghilanes : — *' Ghilanes are a peculiar race of negroes 
which have a strong resemblance to the monkey ; much smaller than 
the usual race, being rarely more than five feet high. They are com- 
monly ill made ; their bodies are lean and seem weak ; their arms long 
and slim ; their hands and feet are longer and flatter than those of 
any other of the human species ; *their cheeks project, and their fore- 
head is low and receding. Their ears are long and deformed ; their 
eyes are small, black, piercing, and twinkle constantly; their noses 
are large and flat ; their mouths wide, and furnished with teeth very 
sharp, strong, and of dazzling whiteness. Their lips are full and 
thick ; their hair curled, but not very woolly, not thick, and it r^ 
mains short. But what particularly distinguishes them is the prolon- 
gation of the vertebral column. This gives to each individual, male 
or female, a tail of two or three inches long." 

Finally, here are some other particulars of Belial, the person the 
author encountered at Mecca : — *' His skin was black-bronzed, shin- 
ing, soft to the touch, like velvet. His ribs could easily be counted. 
He had no beard, and his body was not hairy. He was very active 
and handy. His tail was more than three inches long, and almost as 
flexible as that of a monkey. His disposition, setting aside the oddi- 
ty of his tastes and habits, was good, and his fidelity was above all 



At a meeting of the American Academy, December, 1849, a pa- 
per was read by Dr. H. I. Bowditch, on the animal and vegetable 
parasites infesting the teeth, with the effects of different agents in 
causing their removal and destruction. Microscopical examinations 
had been made of the matter deposited on the teeth and gums of 
more than forty individuals, selected from all classes of society, in 
every variety of bodily condition, and in nearly every case animal and 
vegetable parasites in great numbers had been discovered. Of the 
animal parasites there were three or four species, and of the vegeta- 
ble one or two. In fact, the only persons whose mouths were found 
to be completely free from them cleansed their teeth four times 
daily, using soap once. One or two of these individuals also passed 
a thread between the teeth to cleanse them more effectually. In all 
cases the number of the parasites was greater in proportion to the 
neglect of cleanliness. 

The effect of the application of various agents was also noticed. 
Tobacco juice and smoke did not impair their vitality in the least. 
The same was also true of the Chlorine Tooth- wash, of pulverized 
bark, of soda, ammonia, and various other popular detergents. The 
application of soap, however, appeared to destroy them instantly. 
We may hence infer that this is the best and most proper specific for 
cleansing the teeth. In all cases where it has been tried, it receives 
unqualified commendation. It may be also proper to add, that none 
but the purest white soap, free from all discolorations, should be used. 


From the siege of Tyre, when Alexander was alarmed by the ap- 
pearance of bloody spots on the soldiers' bread, to the year 1848, 
when a similar phenomenon was noticed at Berlin, public attention 
has been at various times attracted by red discolorations in difierent 
sorts of food, and the credulous have ascribed them to a miracle, 
while others have doubted whether their pretended appearance was 
not the effect of an excited imagination. But in 1819 M. Sette ex- 
amined some of these spots, and discovered that they were formed by 
myriads of small bodies, which appeared to be microscopic ftmgi, and 
he reported that they were so. In 1848, Ehrenberg's attention was 
attracted to some of these blood-spots in food, and he commenced 
studying them, and he now believes them to be, not fongi, but ani- 
malcules." These little beings appear as corpuscles, almost round, of 
7TiVt7 ^ 77Vtt ^^ ^ ^^"® ^" length, transparent when separately ex- 
amined, but in a mass of the color of blood. M. Ehrenberg calcu- 
lates that in a space of a cubic inch there are from 46,666,000,000,000 
to 884,836,000,000,000 of these monads. —Medical Times. 


The London Athenseum says that M. Antoine d'Abbadie, writing 
from Cairo, gives the following account of an animal new to Euro- 


pean science, which account he received from Baron Van Muller, 
who had recently returned from Kordofan. " At Melpis, in Kordo- 
fan,'* said the Baron, " where I stopped some time to make my col- 
lections, I met a man who was in the habit of selling me specimens 
of animals, and one day he asked me if I wi hed for an A'n&sa, 
which he described thus : — ' It is of the size of a small donkey, has a 
thick body and thin bones, coarse hair, and tail like that of a boar. It 
has a long horn on its forehead, and lets it hang when alone, but 
erects it immediately on seeing an enemy. It is a formidable weapon, 
but I do not know its exact length. The A'nasa is found not far 
from Melpis towards the southwest. I have seen it often in the wild 
grounds, where the negroes kill it, and make shields of its skin.' 
This man was well acquainted with the rhinoceros, which he distin- 
guished from the A'nasa under the name of Ferit. This was in 
April, 1848. In June I was at Kurse, also in Kordofan, where I met 
a slave-merchant, who was not acquainted with my first informant, 
and he gave me, of his own accord, the same description of the A'nasa, 
adding, that he had killed and eaten one not long before, and that its 
flesh was well flavored." '* Herr Rippell and M. Frosnel," adds 
M. d'Abbadie, '* have already mentioned a one-horned African quad- 
ruped, and I have with me some notes, which tend to establish the 
existence of perhaps two diflferent kinds." 


On his return from the Dead Sea Exploring Expedition, Lieut. 
Lynch brought with him some fine specimens of Arabian cattle, 
which he presented to the State of Virginia. They are thus described 
by one who has seen them : — '*The khaists are respectively eighteen 
and sixteen months old, the bull weighing 950 pounds, and the' heifer 
650. The bull is 4 feet 10 inches high, and 10 feet 4 inches long 
from the nose to the end of the tail, and the heifer is of proportionate 
size. Their limbs are as delicate as those of a gazelle, yet as strong 
and well-set as those of a race-horse. The heads have something of 
the delicate outline of those of deer, and their nostrils are thin and 
flexible ; their feet are broad and flat, and their tails thick and flat at 
the roots, but they taper down till very thin, and end in a long tuft of 
silky hair. The color is a deep shining bay, and the horns, which 
are but just sprouting, are as black as those of a buffalo. They are 
said, when full grown, to stand 7 feet high, and the milk of the cows 
amounts «to three half-bushels a day each." They are valued at 
10,000 dollars, and have been presented by the State to Col. Cast-le- 
man, who is to take measures to secure the propagation of the breed. 


We find in the Comptes Rendus for January 15, 1849, a long paper 
by M. GeoffVoy Saint-Hilaire on the alpaca and the alpa-vigogne, 
or the mongrel of the alpaca and the vigogne, which latter we sop- 
pose to be of the goat species. This paper is supplementary to a for- 


mer one, but contains many interesting facts. M. St. Hilaire advo- 
cates the natuTalization of the alpaca in the higher mountains of 
France, where he thinks they would thrive and be very useful. To 
show the quantity of the wool consumed, he states that more than 
2,800,000 pounds were imported into England as long ago as 1839, 
and since that time it has much increased, but has not kept pace with 
the demand, the price having trebled. Several specimens of the wool 
were produced, and excited much admiration. Among the specimens 
were two of the wool of the alpa-vigogne. This animal is a -mon- 
grel of the alpaca and vigogne, as stated above, and was only pro- 
duced after long trials. A correspondent from the town of Macucani, 
in Peru, where the mongrel was first produced, says that he saw 
twenty-three of them ; their size is between that of the alpaca and 
the vigogne, and their wool is white, from 14 to 15 centimetres long, 
very fine, and resembling silk. One of tho males, however, is coffee- 
colored. These mongrels are productive, which is the peculiar cir- 
cumstance about them. The desire of having a wool, which combines 
the two qualities of great length and fineness, the former of which is 
found in the alpaca and the latter in the vigogne, suggested the idea 
of endeavouring to produce the alpa-vigogne, and a Dr. Calbero, hav- 
ing taken it up, pursued it for several years with great industry. He 
has finally succeeded in procuring a productive animal, whose wool 
does unite the two desirable qualities of length and fineness. Anoth- 
er writer describes the mongrel as resembling more the common llama 
than either of its parents, except that it has straight ears, and the 
wool, though a very little shorter than that of the alpaca, is infinitely 

Some instances having been mentioned where the alpacas decreased 
in number, when they were found in the same region with sheep, M. 
St. Hilaire, at the next meeting of the Academy, submitted some facts 
to show that this was merely the result of peculiar circumstances, and 
by no means a necessary consequence. It seems, that generally the 
sheep occupy the lower mountains and plains in Peru and Bolivia, 
while the alpacas occupy the higher mountains, where they are still in 
immense numbers ; but they also succeed on the lower grounds. In 
some regions they have disappeared in a measure, but sufiScient rea- 
sons can be assigned for this, while in other sections they are so abun- 
dant, that one writer estimates that he saw over three millions of them 
in the course of a short journey. 


M. d'Hericourt placed before the Academy a portion of the 
fieece of an Abyssinian sheep, the wool of which is in some parts 60 
centimetres long. He had endeavoured to bring home a male and fe- 
male of this species, but, though the male survived the voyage, the 
female had died. — Comptes Rendus, November 20. 

ZOOLOGY. ' 333 


Some additional observations on a living species of hippopotamus of 
Western Africa, whose existence was first announced by Dr. George 
Morton, in 1844, have recently been published. 

In reference to nomenclature Dr. Morton remarks, — '*I first an- 
nounced this animal by the name of Hippopotamus minor, not know- 
ing, at the time, that Cuvier had already given this specific designation 
to a fossil species. It therefore became necessary to change it, which 
I do, by placing this species in the zoological system by the name of 
Hippopotamus (Tetraprotodon) LiberiensiSj — the little or Liberian 

These animals, which are probably the smallest of the hippopota- 
mi, vary in weight from four hundred to seven hundred pounds, 
rarely, however, attaining this maximum. They abound in the River 
St. Pauls, a stream that rises in the mountains of Guinea, and passing 
through the Dey country and Liberia, empties into the Atlantic, to 
the north of Cape Mesurado. They are slow and heavy in their mo- 
tions, yet will sometimes stray two or three miles from the river, in 
which situation they are killed by the natives. They are extremely 
tenacious of life, and almost invulnerable, excepting when shot or 
otherwise wounded in the heart. When injured, they become irri- 
table and dangerous, but are said by the natives never to attack them 
when in their canoes. The negroes are very fond of their flesh, 
which seems to be intermediate between beef and veal. The great 
bulk of the hippopotamus, as well as his amphibious habits, have 
hitherto prevented his transportation for exhibition ; but this smaller 
species is of so moderate a bulk, even in adult age, as to render his 
capture and transportation of comparatively easy accomplishment, and 
by a studious adaptation of his food, and attention to his aquatic 
habits, we can see no great difficulty in introducing the Liberian hip- 
popotamus into the menageries of Europe and America. 


A SKELETON of a marine bird was recently presented to the Boston 
Natural History Society, which was said to have been prepared in the 
short space of two hours, by exposure to the attacks of vermin inhab- 
iting the Banks of Newfoundland. These creatures live at or near 
the bottom, and are said to be very destructive to the cod-fish fre- 
quenting the Banks. The bird was lowered to the bottom by means 
of a loaded line, and drawn up in two hours a perfect, ligamentary 
skeleton, the flesh having been entirely consumed. 


It is a curious fact, that among the beavers there are some that are 
lazy, and will not work at all, either to assist in building lodges or 
dams, or to cut down wood for winter stock. The industrious ones 
beat these idle fellows, and drive them away ; sometimes cutting ofl!* a 


part of their taU, and otherwise injuring them. These paresseux are 
more easily caught in traps than the others, and the trapper rarely 
misses one of them. They only dig a hole from the water running 
obliquely towards the surface of the ground twenty-five or thirty 
feet, from which they emerge, when hungry, to obtain food, returning 
to the same hole with the wood they procure to eat the bark. They 
never form dams, and are sometimes to the number of five or seven 
together ; all are males. It is not at all improbable, that these unfoi^ 
tunate fellows have, as is the case with the males of many species of 
animals, been engaged in fighting with others of their sex, and, after 
having been conquered and driven away from the lodge, have become 
idlers from a kind of necessity. The working beavers, on the con- 
trary, associate, males, females, and young, together. — Audvhon and 
Bachman^s Quadrupeds of North America, 


M. Lamari Piquot, who has travelled extensively in our Western 
country, has addressed a memoir to the Academy of Sciences on the 
naturalization and domestication, in France, of the American bison. 
He urges that the animal is remarkably strong and swift; that it 
would be fit for draught in the operations of husbandry and domestic 
business ; and that it would contribute a new meat of agreeable flavor. 
He considers the animal as the finest and the most useful of the 
native productions of the Great West. He relates, that he saw it